Close but no cigar for South Coast schools in regional hockey tournament

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King Edward High School’s Liyabona Totyi keeps a watchful eye on Creston College’s Asher Heaver. (Sophie Thompson)

King Edward High School from Matatiele was crowned the Southern KZN Regional champion for the second year in the SPAR KZN School Girls Hockey Challenge at the weekend.

The defending champs met two times regional winners, Creston College in the finals, winning the game 1-0.

Scoring the winning shot, Zhanique Sissing was dutifully standing on the post during a rare short corner in the final, and nudged the ball across the line from a shot from Thatho Ntoba.

“It was an amazing tournament with a wonderful spirit.´ said an elated Jocelyn Duminy, King Edward’s captain. “Before the tournament we said that we would keep going no matter what, we just persisted and kept on trying especially in the finals, even though we were a bit stressed at the start of the game. We are delighted with our efforts and can’t wait until the finals in July.”

Coached by Deidre Duminy, King Edward High School shone as a team, working cohesively together and sticking to the game plan set about for them by the enthusiastic coach. In the first game, they met rivals, Kokstad College and after a hard-fought battle the game ended with a nil nil result. Their next game, they went 3 nil up against Scottburgh.

In their third game, they drew one all against an impressive young team from Port Shepstone High School who notched up their best result ever, in this tournament. With 7minutes to go, King Edward High School’s Lukhona Ndumndum slotted in a well-crafted goal. Not three minutes later, Marcella King from Sheppie equalised. In KEHS’s final pool game, they knocked in another 3 goals against Suid Natal.

In the second pool, Creston College had a less bumpy ride on their way to the top of the log, where they won all of their four games. The team in red, netted eight goals for them while keeping a clean score sheet on the other side.

In an enthralling Sheppie derby, Creston went onto meet Port Shepstone High School in the first semi-final. At the end of the final whistle, both teams were level with the score nil nil and the game went to a penalty shootout. Creston College took the first rolling penalty. In the first two attempts, the two teams were neck and neck. In the third round, Lara Bouverie from Creston College found the formidable Siphymelele Khawula from Sheppie, who booted the ball well clear of the circle. Sheppie’s Yande Bawana then stepped up and easily slotted the ball into the back of the goals and for a glimmer Sheppie looked to have the upper hand.

Next for Creston, Savannah Haupt made a bee-line for the goals, drawing Khawula out and sliding the ball gently over the line. Zola Nompuko was the fourth Sheppie penalty taker and her efforts ended in a similar fashion to Bouverie when her shot met Danielle Horne’s pad and the ball delivered a mighty kick, clear out of the circle. Paige Pretorius kept her head and took Creston’s score up by one more while the final taker for Sheppie, Rayne Redinger after a great surge towards the goals, could not pass the keeper and subsequently ran out of time, allowing Creston to advance to the finals.

In the second semi-final, KEHS took on Southcity and with a clinical display, took the game 3 nil. Proving a handful for the opposition, King Edward’s Sissing showed phenomenal skill with her constant commanding breaks down the right hand touchline, driving the game into the oppositions circle and creating a number of opportunities.

Earning herself the award of Most Promising Umpire, Kokstad’s College’s Sharnelle Beeton was recognised for her outstanding umpiring during the course of the tournament. Beeton has been invited to further her skills at the Grand Finals in July.

“It was a really good day of hockey for all the teams, and a fabulous festive atmosphere,” says Les Galloway, Tournament Director. “Congratulations to King Edward High School who managed to hold onto the title this year with some truly fine team work and tactical playing, they deserved to retain their title.”

“A big thank you to St Patrick’s College who hosted this well-organised tournament.” says Rob Philipson MD of SPAR KZN. “It was super to see ten motivated teams, really putting their all into their games and showing wonderful camaraderie amongst themselves and between teams. Thanks must also go to the parents and supporters who took time out to encourage from the sidelines.”

King Edward High School is the seventh team to secure their position at the grand finals held at St Mary’s in July, they join Ashton International College  (Durban North Regional), Amanzimtoti High School (Durban South Regional), newcomers Sarel Cilliers (Northern KZN Regional), Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School (Pietermaritzburg Central Regional), St Anne’s College (Pietermaritzburg North Regional), and Durban Girls’ College (Durban Central Regional). Three other teams still need to secure their spaces in the remaining regionals that will be held around KwaZulu-Natal next month.

SPAR KZN School Girls Hockey Challenge

St Patricks’s College, Kokstad: Saturday 16 April

1 King Edward High School, 2  Creston College, 3 Port Shepstone High School, 4 Southcity Christian Schools, 5 Kokstad College, 6 Hoërskool Suid Natal, 7 St Monica’s Diocesan School, 8 St Patrick’s College, 9 Scottburgh High School, 10 Ixopo High School

King Edward’s Zahnique Sissing keeps possession as ever-watchful Cassidy Calder from Port Shepstone High School tries to tackle her. (Sophie Thompson)
King Edward’s Zahnique Sissing keeps possession as ever-watchful Cassidy Calder from Port Shepstone High School tries to tackle her. (Sophie Thompson)

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