Keeper shines, but fails to halt Vories’ defeat

2013-04-23 00:00

FRESH from a productive St Mary’s Waverley Festival in Johannesburg, home side The Wykeham Collegiate (TWC) beat Voortrekker 2-0 in Parklane Superspar girls’ hockey action on Saturday after leading 1-0 at half-time.

“The Vorie girls started strong and dominated play for the first few minutes of the game,” said Voortrekker coach Charmaine Koekemoer.

“The first half saw both teams creating many attacking options.

“The midfield combination of Vories captain Carmen Potgieter and Odette Craig gave Zenani Mhlongo a number of chances to attack down the right flank.

“However, our strikers were unable to convert their possession into penalty corners or shots at goal.”

Voortrekker — who participated in the Tuks hockey clinic during the holidays — went a goal down when good build-up from the attacking line saw Sarah Yeats pass to Sarah Dixon. She wrong-footed South African U16 goalkeeper Prudence Qwesha with a reverse stick flip to put TWC 1-0 up at half-time.

The keeper was called on to make a number of saves during the first half.

“Prudence had an unbelievable game,” said TWC coach Binks Robertson, adding that the keeper maintained her great form in the second half.

TWC opened up the taps during the second half and produced wave after wave of attacks with Nicola Deenik and Melissa Glutz making life difficult for the Vorie defenders.

Fifteen minutes into the second half TWC captain Melissa Glutz made it 2-0 with a memorable strike.

“Melissa was allowed too much space as she entered the circle, without any defenders attempting to stop her,” said Koekemoer.

“She was able to pick her spot and found the top of the net with a spectacular goal.”

Robertson agreed, saying: “Melissa dribbled past the defence and smoked a ball top-right from the top of the circle. It was one of the best goals I have seen in a very long time in schoolgirls’ hockey.”

Koekemoer was full of praise for her keeper, saying: “Prudence Qwesha was the star for Voortrekker, pulling off many great saves and preventing TWC from scoring more than the two goals.”

Meanwhile, TWC gained valuable experience for the season ahead when they participated in the prestigious St Mary’s, Waverley Festival in the holidays, which had 28 hockey schools taking part.

“Former SA captain and coach Ros Howell heads up the festival, along with ex-KZN Midlands player and coach Jill Quick,” said Robertson.

“Investec who are the main sponsors of the SA women’s team, were also the main sponsors of the festival, which will be televised in May.

“It is a very interesting festival format where there are four pools of seven with the game time being 25 minutes one way, the aim being for the teams to score as many goals as possible.”

Robertson said that this format leads to good, attacking hockey where there are no easy matches.

“One draw, not enough goals, or a loss, can place the team either in position one or seven in their pool very easily,” said Robertson.

TWC drew against the festival winners, St Andrew’s of Gauteng, as well as Waterkloof of Pretoria, while they beat Durban Girls High School, but were still positioned lower than them in the final standings.

TWC played 11 matches, won five, drew four and lost two, ending 17th in the final standings.

“St Anne’s, St John’s and GHS have all participated at this festival as well,” said Robertson.

“It is an extremely intense festival, which exposes the girls to a high level of competition against top schools from all over the country. The final four teams were Windhoek, St Mary’s, St Andrews and Somerset West.”

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