St John’s and St Anne’s through to Grand Finals

2017-03-15 06:04
PHOTO: jonathan burtonHunting down the 50/50 ball that squirted out during Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School’s short corner are Shanae Page on attack and on defence for St John’s DSG is Amy Karlsen during the trophy-deciding game that had the Yellow Sticks go up against the Green Machine at the Spar KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge.

PHOTO: jonathan burtonHunting down the 50/50 ball that squirted out during Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School’s short corner are Shanae Page on attack and on defence for St John’s DSG is Amy Karlsen during the trophy-deciding game that had the Yellow Sticks go up against the Green Machine at the Spar KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge.

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THE Spar KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge welcomes back St Anne’s and a new team St John’s DSG to the Grand Finals that will be held in July. Both teams were crowned regional champions in the 2017 Pietermaritzburg tournaments.

Ending Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High’s dominance in the Pietermaritzburg Central Regional, St John’s DSG toppled their 100% record when they beat them 1-0 in a riveting game in the round robin at Epworth College. Striker for St John’s DSG Lise le Roux knocked in the all-important and only goal against the Green Machine, securing her team’s place in the Grand Finals.

“The girls’ attitude today was what won us the tournament. They were phenomenal. The group of girls we have, have done well in other sports this term and this filtered onto the turf. I see great potential for our small school with such a big heart. We are trying to instil the mantra of ‘love what you do, love the game’ and this was evident on the pitch. All the players contributed, and the pace going forward resulted in some exciting goals,” said Lyndal “Binks” Robertson, St John’s DSG coach.

Robertson added that luck was on their side as the games were tight and could have gone either way. “For us against GHS and Epworth, we happened to connect earlier as a team. Those big hearts managed to put the ball in the back of the box, and that made the world of difference. On the field, we defended well and when we got to the other end of the field, we capitalised. And now, for the first time, we are heading to the Grand Finals. Everyone is so delighted.”

Retaining their Pietermaritzburg North regional title for the sixth time, St Anne’s had a bit of a yo-yo day on the turf at UKZN Pietermaritzburg, starting off with a win against long-time rivals The Wykeham Collegiate. In their second game, the defending champs were held to a 2-all draw against hosts Hoërskool Voortrekker in a hard fought 25-minute tussle. St Anne’s then defeated Grace College 3-0. In their final game, Saints took on surprise package of the day, Trever­ton, who had a phenomenal tournament and at one stage looked promising to possibly advance through to the Grand Finals. Saints lifted their game, leaving Treverton unable to stop them as they netted three solid goals.

At each tournament, an umpire is recognised as the most promising umpire, and two umpires were acknowledged.

For the second time, Sibusiso Ndlovu, a pupil from Voortrekker High, was recognised for his umpiring abilities. Alana Marais, representing Howick High School, was also acknowledged for her level of calmness in all aspects of her game.

“A hearty congratulations to the 12 teams that took part in our tournament today. The action, both on and off the pitch, was fantastic. I believe that everyone had an marvellously enjoyable time. Your schools can be very proud of the way you represented them,” said tournament director Les Galloway.
— Supplied.

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