Durban Girls College were crowned champions of the 2013 SPAR aQuellé School Girls Hockey Tournament on Sunday, defeating Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High in the tightly contested final at St Mary’s DSG (Click here to view the extensive photo collection of the tournament, visit the SPAR aQuellé School Girls Hockey Tournament page on facebook).
At the final whistle the score was 2-0 to College. The first goal finding the back of the net was scored in the tenth minute in the first half, coming from a hit outside, Teagan McFall camping out on the far post got her stick on it to give her team the edge.
In the second half, Caroline Meek was rewarded with a goal after another surge late in the game gave College their second. Girls’ High worked hard attempting to equalise but with the opportunities created were unable to capitalise.
Making their third appearance at the finals, College have been chipping away at the goal of raising the trophy. In the inaugural tournament in 2011, the Durban Central team placed third, following that up with a second place last year. This year, the team led by captain, Adrienne Bhola are the third team that will have their names engraved on the trophy.
“This win is amazing, hard earned. Every single game we played this weekend was tough and tightly contested.” said a delighted Bhola. Bhola is the only team member to have played in all of Colleges’ appearances at the finals. “It is an entirely new team; I am the sole remaining player from the 2011 tournament. Our team this year has grown in leaps and bounds. 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 without her. This win is testimony to having an awesome coach being behind us every step of the way.”
College met Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High in the pool games on Saturday at Thomas More College, the score was 2-nil there as well. “We didn’t want to go into the final over confident having defeated them in the pool games. We believed they would come back firing, so we concentrated on a clean slate: a new game taking on a new team.”
“We enjoyed the games against Girls High, they were both very intense and very nice to play.” a complimentary College captain stated after the game.
Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School slayed the defending champions, St Mary’s DSG in a cliff-hanger of a semi-final. Host school St Mary’s DSG confidently took the lead, and looked to have the upper hand.
The visiting team never gave up and with a superb break by Heidi Rencken, Girls’ High had equalised. Both teams surged towards the oppositions goals seeking their second but at the final whistle the score remained level on one a piece.
The two teams began the only rolling penalty shoot-out of the tournament with St Mary’s DSG going first. Saints disappointedly did not slot their first attempt, while Girls’ High missed their third. Going into the final round, the scores were level on three all.
The pressure building, St Mary’s DSG play went wide and missing leaving Girls’ high’s captain Chiree Coetzee the monumental task of slotting in her penalty, which she did with ease.
Coach for Girls’ High, Taryn de Winnaar said, “Again – it wasn’t to be. 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, they can be extremely proud of themselves. I just have to say that 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,” said de Winnaar. “This is the beauty of a tournament like this one! Now with two silvers and one bronze to our collection, we would love to add the trophy into our cabinet, next year we will be back with that goal in mind!”
The two Saints teams took to the field to contest the bronze medal game. Both teams have been the victorious teams in previous years, with St Anne’s winning the inaugural year and St Mary’s being the defending champions.
In the pool game St Mary’s went up one nil against St Anne’s on Saturday afternoon, both teams played out their socks.
At the conclusion of the second meeting between St Mary’s and St Anne’s, St Mary’s stormed to a 4-nil victory.
An extremely pleased MD for SPAR KZN, Rob Philipson said, “This tournament is proving to be a premiere sporting event on the school calendar. All ten teams played their hearts out with 29 fantastic games being played over the weekend. Our congratulations to all the teams – we look forward to next year!”
Tournament Director, Les Galloway enthused, “The level of hockey was exciting to watch. At no one point over the weekend was there a clear dominating team; the competition had intrigue, drama and a number of nail biting moments. A great conclusion to this year’s finals!”
Final Results of the 2013 SPAR aQuellé School Girls Hockey Tournament: 1. Durban Girls College 2. Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High 3. St Mary’s DSG 4. St Anne’s Diocesan 5. Creston College 6. Durban Girls’ High School 7. Empangeni High School 8. Wartburg Kirchdorf High 9. Ferrum High School 10. Ashton International College