Newcomers Ashton surprise winners of Durban North Regionals

2013-03-26 00:00

ASHTON International College in Ballito, now in its fourth year, caused a major upset by winning the Durban North Regionals of the Spar aQuellé School Girls’ Hockey Tournament at the expense of other long-established hockey schools.

The Durban North Regionals, hosted by Our Lady of Fatima, saw seven schools battle it out.

For the most part, Danville had success in their matches but at the end of the tournament they were tied first with Ashton. However, the winners were decided on total goals scored, which meant Ashton’s eight goals topped Danville’s five goals.

There was drama in the fourth-to-last match — Ashton against Fatima — a game which needed to be either drawn or won for the Ballito girls to ensure either first or second position.

Fatima went 1-0 up through the excellent work of right half Jennifer Smit. Her set-up from outside the strike zone deflected off Lauren Huber’s stick into the goals.

The balance tipped when Ashton’s Danelle van der Linde scored via the penalty corner route. The draw put Ashton top of the log at this point.

Danville then had to win by at least four goals against Durban North College (DNC) in the next game to win the event, but dogged DNC defence kept the scoreline at 1-0, leaving a jubilant Ashton as winners.

“We have been delighted with the commitment and energy shown by the girls in our regional tournaments,” said former South Africa women’s hockey team manager Les Galloway, now tournament director of Spar aQuellé School Girls’ Hockey.

“The girls play with such enthusiasm and vigour, while showing integrity and respect for the game and their opponents at the same time.”

Meanwhile, the strong Durban Girls’ College (DGC) line-up were in top form on home turf to clinch the Durban Central Regionals, winning all four of their round-robin games; on-song striker Caroline Meek netting eight goals. The success gives DGC the opportunity, along with nine other KZN schools, to lift the overall title in the finals at St Mary’s and Thomas More College in July.

The tournament has a Facebook page, SPAR aQuellé School Girls’ Hockey Tournament, and a Twitter account, @SPARGirlsHockey.

Spectators and players are encouraged to visit the page and check out all the action from the regionals.

RESULTS

Durban North Regional Tournament: 1 Ashton College, 2 Danville Girls’ High, 3 Our Lady of Fatima DCG, 4 Northlands Girls’ High, 5 Crawford College La Lucia, 6 Durban North College, 7 Port Natal.

Durban Central Regional Tournament: 1. Durban Girls

College, 2 St Henry’s (Marist Brothers), 3 Maris Stella, 4 Holy Family College, 5 Ridge Park College.

Most Promising Umpires: Avril Jacobs (Ridge Park),

Mark Ziegler (Danville).

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