Results of Umvoti, uThukela and Umzinyathi Regional
Surprise package Greytown High School dethroned defending champs Wartburg Kirchdorf School, who were playing at home, in the Umvoti, uThukela and Umzinyathi Regional of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge on Saturday, May 12.
The hosts, who have won the title five consecutive times, were not given any time to settle in the final, with Greytown taking control from the first whistle, not allowing Wartburg to get into their methodical German stride.
In the picture: Wartburg Kirchdorf High’s Amahle Zondi (left) and Greytown High School’s Annita Masuku (right) rush to take possession of the ball in their round robin game of the uMvoti, uThukela and uMzimyathi Regional of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge at Wartburg Kirchdorf School on Saturday, May 12. Picture: Jonathan Burton
Greytown found two early opportunities in Wartburg’s circle but the ambitious shots didn’t trouble Wartburg’s keeper, Kholeka Mkhize. Midway through the first half, Wartburg managed to find a bit of space, with a long pass from near the halfway line being miraculously stopped by a stretching Loren Engelbrecht in the Greytown circle. The forward controlled the ball but was met by a determined goalkeeper, Shayna Hattingh, who valiantly left her line and didn’t allow Engelbrecht any angles to get a shot off, stifling her attempt.
Slowly Wartburg managed to find a few spaces, earning themselves three short corners and one long corner to Greytown’s single short corner. Both teams defended successfully, cutting out any dangerous attacks.
Talented Elona Engelbrecht, cousin to Loren, had a go at the goals, firing in a marvellous attempt that went just right of the post. The first half ended with no other fireworks, the scores level on 0-0.
Six minutes into the second half, a call by the umpire caught Wartburg wrong-footed, thinking they had earned a free hit just outside their circle. But the call did not materialise. Greytown pounced on the opportunity, as Wartburg proceeded to push their players up. An alert Greytown player quickly took off, passing the ball into the centre of the circle, where Bandile Masikane was lurking, and quickly slapped the ball in to earn her team the all-important advantage.
The game ping-ponged between the two goals, with Wartburg trying desperately to level the score but Greytown held strong. Feisty Sphisihle Kubheka from Greytown ignited her troops from midfield whenever she got possession, creating some fabulous plays for her team.
Statistically, Wartburg ended the round robin looking the strongest on 13 points scoring three wins and one draw, with Greytown and Wembley vying for the spot in the finals. Greytown notched up two wins and two draws while Wembley managed two wins to end two points behind Greytown on 8 points. In the first game, Greytown had shown a glimpse of what was to come, holding five times champions, Wartburg to a 0-0 draw.
For the second year running Kevin Engelbrecht, a relative of the Engelbrecht girls, was acknowledged as the Most Promising Umpire for this regional.
Wartburg Kirchdorf School coach, Lisa Misselhorn said, “We knew Greytown would be strong but our game in the finals was well matched, with our team giving it their all. We are happy for the winning team, and I am very proud of Wartburg.”
Greytown Sara Wheeler said, “It is an extraordinary feeling for the team. We have always just missed out getting to the finals, and to get our shot this year is an amazing opportunity for us, especially against all these fantastic teams. Big thanks to the organisers.”
Greytown has earned the penultimate berth in the Grand Finals that take place at St Mary’s DSG in Kloof, Durban on July 21 and 22. The other eight teams are Ferrum Hoërskool (Northern KZN); newcomers Epworth School (PMB Central Regional); St Anne’s DSG (PMB Northern Regional); Durban Girls’ College (DBN Central Regional); Amanzimtoti High School (DBN South Regional); Our Lady of Fatima (DBN North Regional); King Edward High School (Southern KZN Regional), St Mary’s DSG (Highway Regional). The 10th and last regional takes place this weekend (May 19) at Grantleigh College in Richards Bay.
For more info visit the tournament’s Facebook page.
Scores at end of round robin:
Wartburg 13; Greytown 10; Wembley 8; Deutsche Schule Hermannsburg 4; Domino Servite 1
1 Greytown High School; 2 Wartburg Kirchdorf School; 3 Wembley College; 4 Deutsche Schule Hermannsburg; 5 Domino Servite