Quintin van Jaarsveld
The inaugural Pro Series Indoor South Coast Regional Hockey League finished on a high note at Port Shepstone High School on Sunday.
The fourth and final round saw over 70 players from Under-13 to Under-18 level participating with 14 matches being played.
Players had one last opportunity to stake their claim for positions in the South Coast Marlins squads set to participate in the national tournament in Cape Town in December, which led to an exciting end to the league.
League organiser and South Coast Marlins franchise owner Dale Esselaar said he was pleased with how the maiden season turned out.
“The league went really well and apart from a few challenges relating to the venue, we managed to pull it off and everything ran smoothly,” he told eHowzit.
“Adin Bennett, Morne Bishop and Gareth Bishop need to be thanked for all their effort over the past few weeks. It felt like it flew by even with more than 50 matches being played over the past four Sundays.
“The number of players was a little lower than what I had originally hoped for, but it turned out to be a case of quality over quantity, so I’m really happy with how it all worked out.”
Esselaar added because the main focus of the league is to identify talent with an eye toward the national championship as opposed to match results, and with there being no league winners, there are no added pressure on players.
The South Coast Marlins squads will be announced in due course.
Esselaar, meanwhile, announced that two local leagues will be held next year.
“There will be a league for U9, U10, U11 and U12 around March next year to select the sides and prepare them for the junior nationals in early July 2017.
“Following the junior nationals will be the senior league running over four consecutive days in the July holiday to give us more time to raise funds for the tournament in December.
“The costs for the nationals are very high and we need to source sponsors and do as much fund-raising as possible to ensure that we are taking the best possible players on tour to represent the South Coast Marlins.”
Round Four results:
U16 A girls vs U16 B 0-0
U16 A boys vs U16 B 4-5
U18 A girls vs U18 B 2-0
U18 A girls vs U16 A 3-1
U16 A boys vs U18 A 5-3
U16 B girls vs U18 B 0-3
U13 A girls vs U13 B 5-1
U13 A boys vs U13 B 1-0
U14 A boys vs U13 B 4-0
Other results unavailable at time of publication