Teams gear up for grand SPAR hockey challenge finals

Emma Jane Smythe of Epworth School and her opponent Michaela Quintal of Amanzimtoti High School ahead of the grand finals at St Mary’s DSG in Kloof from 21 to 22 July. PHOTO: Val Adamson

Ten top teams have earned their spot at this year’s SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Grand Finals that will take place at St Mary’s DSG on 21 and 22 July.

The tournament travelled to 10 regions during the early part of the year, with each of the regionals producing a finalist. The 10 teams, each representing their area, will now go head-to-head at the grand finals, in the eighth year of this popular school girls’ first team hockey tournament.

First to earn their berth at the finals was Ferrum Hoërskool, representing the Northern KZN regional. This will be the seventh time that the team from Newcastle will travel to Kloof to compete.

Another team sharing Ferrum’s appearance record is St Anne’s College. St Anne’s in Hilton, have raised the trophy once at the inaugural tournament in 2011 and since then have played in the bronze medal game in their remaining appearances, notching up four third places and a fourth.

READ ALSO: Countdown begins for SPAR KZN girls’ hockey challenge

Two teams that have both raised the grand finals trophy three times each are Durban Girls’ College and St Mary’s DSG. College are the only team in this tournament to have a 100 per cent appearance record at the grand finals, and in all of their outings, they have made it through to the silverware games with three golds, three silvers and one fourth place.

Defending champs and hosts of the grand finals, St Mary’s DSG will be keen to retain their title, edging one ahead of College on stats. Saints have the three golds to their name, as well as two bronzes and one fourth.

Two teams that will be making their fourth appearance are both from the south. Both Amanzimtoti High School and King Edward High School (KEHS) of Matatiele will make their fourth consecutive appearance. Toti have been consistent in placing 10th in their successes at the grand finals, while the team from Matatiele has been earning their nickname of the giant slayers in recent years, holding the big teams to a number of draws. KEHS had an eighth position in their first year and improved to sixth overall in the last two grand finals.

READ ALSO: Kuswag Skool teachers embark on new adventures

Making their third appearance is Our Lady of Fatima representing the Durban North regional. Fatima have earned themselves two fifth places in previous years and are eager to break into the medal games this year.

Three teams will make their very first appearance. The second team to score a spot was Epworth School when they were crowned the champions of the Pietermaritzburg central region early in March. The final two regionals also revealed two newcomers. Greytown High School is the third team to represent the Umvoti, uThukela and Umzinyathi region. And the final team that will head to Durban is Felixton College from the North coastal region.

For more information, like the tournament’s Facebook page.

 

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  AUTHOR
Earl Baillache
Journalist

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