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Titillating tension as Toti High contest regional hockey tourney

The first semi-final saw Toti take on Kingsway High School winning the game 1-0.

DURBAN Girls High School clinched the title against Amanzimtoti High School in a nail-biting final at the Durban South regional of the Spar KZN regional hockey tournament which took place on Sunday, 16 March.

The two teams met in the first pool game of the day and after 15 minutes, the scores were a hard fought 0-0, revealing how level they both were. As they proceeded during the pool games, both Toti and Durban Girls were neck and neck on points until Toti met Kuswag, beating them 1-0 while Durban Girls drew against the Afrikaans school. Toti placed first in the pool game, with Durban Girls second.

In the second pool, Werda topped the log having won all of their pool games and host school Kingsway High School finished in second place.

The first semi-final saw Toti take on Kingsway High, winning the game 1-0. Kingsway dominated most of the game and were looking to surprise but they were just unable to reap the rewards of their attacks. Durban Girls took on Werda in the second semi-final in a game that looked to be heading towards a draw and rolling penalties. The score was level at 0-0 with one minute on the clock. As time ticked away, Durban Girls secured a short corner and with a mere 10 seconds to go, netted the ball to advanced to the finals.

The final was fast-flowing and action-packed. Durban Girls earned themselves four short corners, but Toti defended like champs, clearing the ball out of their danger area. As the clock trickled down to full time, Durban Girls got another short corner and looked to replay the conclusion of the semi-final. On the defence, Toti knuckled down and cleared the ball as the final whistle blew. The score was 0-0 and the final went through to another five minutes of play.

This went by quickly and both goalkeepers got involved, not allowing the ball into their goals. At the end of the extra time, the score remained unchanged.

The final would be decided on rolling penalties. Durban Girls went first, shooting wide, with Toti following suit and also missing the goals. Durban Girls’ second shot was blocked by the keeper but Toti High went one up.

Both schools missed their third attempts. Durban Girls netted their fourth and fifth shots, with the team’s youngest player, Tuscany Lambrechts putting her hand up for the opportunity. The tiny player calmly rounded Toti’s goalkeeper to slot in her shot. The score was 2-1 to DGHS. Toti had one chance left to level, which they coolly did. The rolling penalties now went into sudden death.

Young Lambrechts had the ball tossed to her after her immaculate execution in her previous penalty. She coolly rounded the keeper and gently rolled the ball across the Toti line. With Durban Girls ahead, the pressure was back on Toti. Toti attacked but were unable to score, with solid keeping from Durban Girls. They went through to their third appearance at the grand finals.

Les Galloway, tournament director said: “No-one dominated the games, all the games were evenly matched which makes the tournament so much more exciting for all involved. I am extremely impressed with how the level of hockey is improving in this region. Some marvellous players are coming through the ranks.”

The umpires at the tournaments are also recognised for their hard work. Amanzimtoti’s Enza Ngubane was voted the most promising umpire for the Durban South region and will be heading to the finals to gain more experience.

MD for Spar KZN, Rob Philipson said: “Durban South proved yet again how festive their region is. The games came to a standstill so that all the team could do the Harlem Shake on the pitch. In what other tournament do these festivities happen? It is great to see there is such a balance between playing hard on the field but still being able to enjoy yourself off it. Well done to all the teams that played.”

Eight of the 10 regionals have concluded. Schools through are Ferrum High School, Kokstad College, Durban Girls’ College, Danville Girls’ High, Westville Girls High, Pietermaritzburg Girls High, St Annes and Durban Girls’ High. Still to play are the Northern Natal regional and the inland regional that will take place in May. For more info, like the Facebook page Spar KZN regional hockey tournament.


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