Ten girls’ schools in hockey finals

2013-07-09 00:00

NO fewer 10 exciting regional tournaments across KwaZulu­Natal have concluded, with a team from each area advancing through to the finals weekend of the Spar aQuellé Schoolgirls’ Hockey Tournament. The event take places on July 20-21 at St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls and Thomas More College in Kloof.

The tournament, which is in its third year, has fast become a popular fixture on the school sporting calendar. The regionals began in February in Dundee and concluded in Empangeni in May, and 76 schools participated on both synthetic turf and grass pitches.

Newcomers to the finals, Ashton College, will represent the Durban North region, while fellow newcomers, Wartburg Kirchdorf School, will be flying the Greytown region flag.

Making their second appearance at the finals are St Anne’s, who won the Pietermaritzburg North regionals and who were the overall tournament winners in the inaugural year of the competition. They will be hoping to make another winning surge to regain their ­title again this year.

St Anne’s are joined by Creston College (Port Shepstone), Durban Girls’ High (Durban South) and Empangeni High School.

Four teams have had the honour of appearing in all three finals and are clearly dominating their ­regions. They are Ferrum High School (Newcastle), who were the first team to make it through this year. They are joined by Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High, the PMB Central winner, who were the silver medallists in 2011 and bronze ­medallists in 2012.

The defending champions are St Mary’s DSG (winners of the Highway region), who were also bronze medallists in 2011. And finally there is the Durban Girls’ College first team, the Durban Central winners. The 2012 silver medallists will be going all-out for gold this year.

The format for the finals will split the team into two pools, with the pool games being played at St Mary’s DSG and Thomas More College on Saturday. The teams then challenge each other in the playoffs, playing cross-pool games on Sunday at St Mary’s DSG, leading up to the finals. The games will be short spells of 25 minutes played in one direction.

The unsung heroes, the umpires, are an integral part of the competition. Throughout the tournament series an umpire was honoured in each region by being presented with the title of Most Promising Umpire. They have been invited to officiate at the finals.

This year, the umpire team are ­Divan Grobler (Vryheid), Dunne Marx (Creston), Ashley Dormehl (Hillcrest), Eugen Shezi (New Forest), Avril Jacobs (Ridge Park), Anne-Marie Maartens (Voortrekker), Mark Zeigler (Danville), Sara Wheeler (Greytown), Natania Basson (Felixton, Empangeni) and Chiara Benati (PMB Central).

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