SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge
Northern KZN Coastal Regional
Grantleigh College: Saturday 18 May 2019
Felixton College played out of their boots as they defended their Northern KZN Coastal Regional title in the SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge on Saturday 18 May at Grantleigh College’s astro.
Felixton took on hosts, Grantleigh College in an energetic final that ended with the visitors going 3 goals up. Grantleigh started off strong, earning a short corner 3 minutes into the game with the first real chance at goals. Felixton’s back line were up for the task, not allowing the ball anywhere near the danger zone.
Midway through the final, Kavilay Naidoo had a superb solo run down the right, but didn’t get beyond the Felixton 22. Netting the first two goals for the red team, Cate Oxley finally broke the deadlock with 7.56 minutes left of play. 40 seconds later, Felixton were again knocking on the door, with a shot fired in, pounding the back board – but on-the-spot umpire, Mari-Lee Visser deemed the shot to have been hit outside the circle, disallowing the attempt.
Not letting the disappoint get to them, Felixton responded with a short corner. The ball was sent to the top of the field, cleverly the Felixton players skillfully moved the ball around when the ball eventually found Oxley, who had time to slap in her team’s second.
Delivering the final blow, Josie Picton took the scoreline out of Grantleigh’s reach when she scored the third and final goal with 3 and a half minutes still on the clock.
Going into the finals, Felixton’s keeper Rhaiya Naidu (18) stated that she hadn’t touched the ball the entire tournament, and her fantastic defenders prevented the ball from coming anywhere near the goals during the final, giving the matric pupil no work the entire day.
Leading up to the finals, Felixton – who finished on top of their pool, took on eShowe High School in the first semi-final. 3.57 into the game, Felixton opened their account during a short corner, where Captain Aphiwe Nene calmly slapped the ball in. Shortly after, Josie Picton who was camped right on the post, bravely positioned her stick and decisively diverted a rogue shot from Beth Oxley, who cannoned the ball from the top of the circle. Picton, was again well placed during a short corner as she injected the ball only to receive the ball from the top of the D, and knocked in Felixton’s third. As the clock wound down, star player Kayla Janse van Vuuren got her team’s fourth goal and a place in the finals.
In the second semi-final, Grantleigh were made to work hard for their place in the final, when they took on Richard’s Bay Christian School. After 7 minutes, Grantleigh were awarded a short corner. The ball went to the top of the circle, dodging the first wave, the Grantleigh attack had plenty of time as there was no second wave charging down on them, the ball moved right, then across the goal mouth where Minya Geyser edged the ball across the line for the first goal.
Grantleigh continued peppering the other goals with countless attacks but a Herculean effort from Richard’s Bay’s last stand, Lebogang Tlou who stood solid in her goals, only to remarkably let in 2 goals. Standing tall, the matric pupil had to face off 3 penalty flicks, the first two didn’t make it past her but Beth van Onselen found the right corner with her low flick, giving the home team a 2 nil win.
The Umpire for the Day award went to Visser who was representing Felixton. The young whistle blower was invited to officiate at the Grand Finals in 2016, and has been impressing as she is growing in confidence.
Wrapping up this year’s regionals, Felixton is the final team to earn a ticket to the Grand Finals that takes place on 20 & 21 July at St Mary’s DSG in Kloof. They join 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), Kokstad College (Southern KZN), Ferrum High School (Northern KZN), Wartburg Kirchdorf (uMvoti, uThukela and uMzinyathi) and St Mary’s (Highway).
For more info like the tournament’s Facebook page or follow on Instagram.
1 Felixton College, 2 Grantleigh College, =3 eShowe High, =3 Richard’s Bay Christian School, =5 Empangeni High, =5 Curro Mt Richmore, 7 St Catherine’s School, =8 John Ross College, =8 Mandini Academy