Third time lucky for Durban Girls'

2013-07-23 00:00

DURBAN Girls’ College’s first team were crowned champions of the 2013 Spar aQuellé Schoolgirls’ Hockey Tournament on Sunday, defeating Piet­ermaritzburg Girls’ High School (GHS) 2-0 in the tightly contested final at St Mary’s in Kloof.

The first goal was scored in the 10th minute of the first half, coming from a hit outside the strike zone. Teagan McFall, camping out on the far post, got her stick to the ball to give her team the edge and the advantage at the break.

In the second half, Caroline Meek was rewarded with a goal after another surge late in the game gave College their second. Chasing the game, GHS worked hard in search of the two goals that would see the sides level, but their opportunities were not converted into goals.

Making their third appearance at the finals, College have been chipping away at their goal of raising the trophy, and it was third time lucky this time around. In the inaugural tournament in 2011, the Durban Central region team was third and followed this with second last year. This year, the team led by Adrienne Bhola are the third team to have their names engraved on the trophy.

“This win is amazing and hard earned,” said a delighted Bhola. “Every single game we played this weekend was tough and tightly contested.”

Bhola is the only team member to have played in all of College’s appearances at the finals. “It is an entirely new team, as I am the sole remaining player from the 2011 tournament. Our team this year has grown in leaps and bounds,” she said. “We play well together and are a comfortable unit on and off the field.

“We could not have done any of this without our inspiring, motivating and phenomenal coach, Bell Meek. Without her guidance, patience and passion for the game, our team would be nothing. This win is testimony to having an awesome coach being behind us every step of the way.”

College met Pietermaritzburg GHS in the pool games on Saturday at Thomas More College, winning 2-0. “We didn’t want to go into the final over-confident, having defeated GHS in the pool games,” said Bhola. “We believed that GHS would come back firing, so we concentrated on a clean slate, a new game taking on a new team.

“We enjoyed the games against GHS. They were both intense and great to play,” said Bhola.

The losing finalists beat defending champions St Mary’s DSG in a cliff-hanger semi-final. St Mary’s confidently took the lead and looked to have the upper hand, but the visiting team never gave up and with a superb break by Heidi Rencken, scored the equaliser.

Both teams surged towards the opposition’s goals seeking their second goal, but at the final whistle the score remained 1-1.

The two teams began the only rolling penalty shoot-out of the tournament, with St Mary’s going first. Saints did not slot their first attempt, while GHS missed their third. Going into the final round, the scores were level at 3-3. With the pressure building, St Mary’s next play went wide and the miss left GHS captain Chiree Coet­zee the unenviable task of slotting home the winner, which she did with ease for the 1-1 (4-3) victory.

“Again, it wasn’t to be,” said GHS coach Taryn de Winnaar. “What with the saying third time lucky, it seems we are always the bridesmaid and never the bride in this tournament. The girls gave it their all over the two days and can be extremely proud of themselves.

“I am so impressed with the heart of our girls. All 14 contributed to our successes and for me, that is what counts. This season our motto was pride, passion and pleasure, and I saw all three this weekend.

“This is the beauty of a tournament like this. With two silvers and a bronze in our collection, we would love to add the trophy to our cabinet next year and we will be back with that goal in mind.”

St Mary’s beat St Anne’s 4-0 in the bronze medal match. Both teams have been victorious in previous years, St Anne’s winning the inaugural tournament and St Mary’s lifting the trophy last year.

Final positions: 1. Durban Girls’ College, 2. Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School, 3. St Mary’s, 4. St Anne’s, 5. Creston College, 6. Durban Girls’ High School, 7. Empangeni High School, 8. Wartburg Kirchdorf High, 9. Ashton International College, 10. Ferrum High School.

Somerset College girls from Somerset West in Boland and Rondebosch Boys’ High of Cape Town, won the respective Cape Town U18 International Schools/Clubs Hockey Festival finals at Hartleyvale hockey stadium on Sunday.

Somerset beat Stellenberg of Cape Town 4-3, while Rondebosch beat Paul Roos of Stellenbosch 2-1.

Wynberg Boys’ High came third with Kennemer Lyceum of The Netherlands fourth.

Windhoek High of Namibia came third in the girls’ competition, with Chisipite of Zimbabwe fourth.

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