Home side DSG took the top prize in a tense final against Graaff-Reinet’s Union High at the SPAR Eastern Cape Schoolgirls Hockey Challenge in Grahamstown yesterday.
Ten schools from the PE North division took place in the second tournament of the Eastern Cape regional series. Collegiate triumphed in the PE Central leg on April 17 when they defeated Pearson 1-0.
DSG took the same score, getting their only goal five minutes in. This eased some of the pressure in the match, which was limited to just 20 minutes, said DSG coach Chris Hibbert.
“The early goal meant we were able to calm things down.
“But it was a well-contested final, and Union High came back with three minutes left, forcing a penalty corner.
“It was tense, but our girls managed to hold out.”
DSG’s win will see them join Collegiate in the regional finals at Woodridge on August 13. The remaining regional tournaments in East London, Queenstown and George take place during May.
Eastern Cape tournament director Peter Wilson commended the girls on the spirit in which they played their matches. He said this was exemplified by an incident in the final.
“With DSG leading 1-0, a ball was hit into the Union High circle and deflected by a DSG player into the net.
“Everyone thought it was a second goal, but in a fantastic show of sportsmanship the DSG player went to the umpires and indicated that the ball had come off her foot.
“Overall it was another fantastic day of schoolgirls hockey,” said Wilson.
“These tournaments are providing exposure to many players and everyone involved is appreciative of the contributions SPAR are making to hockey at school level.”
The tournament also provides an opportunity for young umpires to gain exposure, he said.
Gill College, who do not have an astroturf and do not get a lot of strong competition, played well, finishing in third.
List of final placings: 1 DSG, 2 Union High, 3 Gill College, 4 Victoria Girls, 5 Kingswood College, 6 Cradock High, 7 Volkskool, 8 Brandwag, 9 Port Alfred High, 10 PJ Olivier.