SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge
Northern KZN Regional
St Dominic’s Newcastle: Saturday 4 May
After monumental battle in the regional final, Ferrum High School claimed their eighth Northern KZN Regional title in the SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge that took place at the St Dominic’s Newcastle astro on Saturday 4 May.
They conquered a well disciplined and quietly determined team from Sarel Cilliers High School in a riveting 20minute conclusion to the regional. At the final blast of the whistle, the scoreline remained on nil nil after Ferrum dominated the entire game, challenging the Sarel Cilliers defence from the get go, but were unable to penetrate the solid last line.
The result of the game moved to a pressure test with three players from each side lining up in an 8 second penalty shootout. With a fond association to the St Dom’s astro and no stranger to a tournament winning penalty shootout, Sarel Cilliers managed to topple Ferrum’s domination two years prior when they managed a resounding win against Pionier, earning the honour as the second school to represent the region.
Each attempt the players were level pegged with the mirror result in each of the penalty attempts in the first round ending drawn on 1 a piece. The game then progressed to a feisty sudden death where the girls endeavours stepped up a notch. After the second complete round, the scoreline moved up to 2 all, with both teams only managing to net 1 goal in their second run at goals.
In the next round of sudden death, Ferrum’s keeper Joleen Mollentze made a brave save charging down a heroic shot, keeping Sarel Cilliers seventh attempt out. Stepping up to take Ferrum’s seventh penalty, Karli Janse van Rensburg decided on a no-nonsense rocket of a shot that blasted beyond Sarel Cillers goal keeper Petra Khanyile’s outstretched right pad, smashing into the box, and winning the tournament for her team.
In the bronze medal game, hosts, St Dominic’s Newcastle met Dundee High School. In the opening minutes Dundee advanced into St Dom’s circle, with some fine hockey getting the ball inching closer and closer to the goals. As the striker knocked the ball just beyond the keeper’s reach rolling goal-wards, the umpire on the spot was mid-way through awarding a short corner for Dundee, in a game changing decision and denying the goal.
The well-contested game moved from side to side with neither team able to get the ball in their oppositions goals. St Dom’s had a string of short corners that Dundee defended magnificently, avoiding surge after surge and keeping the score level. As the minutes ticked away, St Dom’s earned yet another short corner that was pushed out to the top of the D, moved right to a lurking Nozipho Mag who, in one touch, slapped the ball across to the waiting Natasha Friend who was hugging the left post. Friend added her magic touch, slipping the ball into the goals with 23 seconds remaining on the clock.
Recognised for her outstanding efforts with the whistle, Didi Ngwenya from Vryheid High School earned the award of Umpire of the Day.
Ferrum is the seventh team to guarantee a spot at the Grand Finals that takes place at St Mary’s DSG in Kloof in July. They join nine other teams from around KZN at the two day event. Teams that have secured a place at the Grand Finals are St Anne’s College (PMB North), Epworth (PMB Central), newcomer Crawford La Lucia (DBN North), Durban Girls’ College (DBN Central), Amanzimtoti High School (DBN South) and Kokstad College (Southern KZN).
For more info like the tournament’s Facebook page or follow on Instagram.
1 Ferrum High School, 2 Sarel Cilliers, 3 St Dominic’s Newcastle, 4 Dundee High School, 5= Pionier Hoërskool, 5= Vryheid High School, 7 Newcastle High School, 8 Pongola Akademie