A total of 10 schools will be out to claim the last spot in the provincial finals of the SPAR Eastern Cape Schoolgirls Hockey Challenge when the PE Coastal leg is held at Pearson in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.
So far, Union High, Kingsridge, Clarendon and York have qualified for the final play-offs at Woodridge, near Port Elizabeth, on August 12.
Now the PE Coastal winners will be decided from 10 teams competing on Saturday, an increase from the eight sides that contested the corresponding tournament last year.
Hockey challenge national director Les Galloway said the increase in teams showed how popular the concept had become.
“The interest and the excitement of the tournament have grown from last year,” she said. “Now we have a situation where the challenge is becoming established and more teams want to become involved.”
She added they were expecting some top-class hockey at Pearson.
“This is an exciting region, with Collegiate having won the provincial title last year,” said Galloway, who initiated the concept in that province seven years ago.
“But you also have a very good side such as Pearson, and then there are a whole lot of other teams who will have a chance to prove themselves.”
The teams for Sunday’s play-offs will be divided into two pools.
Pool A will comprise Pearson, Woodridge, Victoria Park, Pearson Invitational and Nico Malan, while pool B will consist of Collegiate, Westering, Linkside, Alexander Road and Framesby.
The top two teams in each will qualify for the semis, starting at 3pm. The final is scheduled for 4.40pm and matches will be played over 20 minutes.