In a surprise upset, Domino Servite took the honours in the SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge’s uMvoti and oThukela Regional at Deutsche Schule Hermannsburg on Saturday.
They met one of the favourites in the regions’ final game, toppling Wartburg Kirchdorf School in an all-important critical penalty shootout. After 25 minutes of play the whistle blew with the score line level on one each.
Domino were awarded their first real threat in the game, a short corner midway through the final. The ball was pushed to the top of the circle, where the castle sent the ball towards the goals, finding its way to the right where a tussle on the post saw Wartburg’s goalkeeper Yoliswa Khenyisa fall, hitting the upright and suffering concussion.
Domino’s captain, Liezel Green, managed to knock their goal in shortly after Wartburg’s keeper’s unfortunate injury. As the game drew to a close, Wartburg responded with a barrage of attacks, including four short corners. On their final set piece, they managed to equalise after the ball was pushed out to the top of the D, with Lise-Lea Engelbrecht trapping it cleanly, shifting the ball from her favoured right, side-stepping the first wave, and knocking in a reverse stick leveller.
Seconds later the final whistle blasted, announcing that the outcome of the game would head to the penalty spot. Wartburg’s Robyn Vorster took their first opportunity scoring with her attempt and putting her team 1 point ahead. For the next four rounds the scoreboard remained on 2 – 1 to Wartburg.
Green stepped up to the spot, and determinedly took the ball up, zig-zagging as she went. Wartburg’s stand-in keeper, Andile Dube, was unable to keep up with the quick-footed Green and watched, amazed, as the ball rolled over her line, again levelling the score.
The game’s conclusion then moved to sudden death with Wartburg setting off first. Their fourth penalty was mis-hit, giving Domino the edge. Amy van Tonder of Domino stepped up and calmly made her way goalwards, pulling the ball right and knocking it across the line, earning her team their third goal and the regional title for the first time.
Chatting after the final, Green shared, “We came here a little bit unsure but were quite excited. We knew we were stronger than two teams but Wembely and Wartburg we were a bit unsure about. We were delighted to reach the final, but we were exhausted, so it was a game that we played a lot more defensively. We didn’t expect to win but we are very happy and delighted to make it through to the grand finals for the first time.”
Domino’s coach, Willen du Toit, said: “We enjoyed it. It was tough and draining and a roller-coaster day. We got to the final and scored and then right at the end they scored and we had to go to a shootout. It was fun and I am very happy for the team. They did well.”
Acknowledged for his efforts with the whistle, Gareth Larkan, of host school Hermannsburg, was named Umpire of the Day.
In their inaugural appearance, Domino Servite will represent the uMvoti and oThukela Region as the eighth team at the Grand Finals in July. They join Pionier Hoërskool (Northern KZN Regional); St Anne’s College (Pietermaritzburg North Regional); St John’s DSG (Pietermaritzburg Central Regional); Our Lady of Fatima (Durban North Regional); St Mary’s DSG. (Highway Regional); Kuswag Hoërskool (Durban South Regional); and most recently King Edward High School (Ugu and Sisonke Regional).
Next week the action moves to Durban for the second last tournament for 2022, the Durban Central Regional at Durban Girls’ College, followed by the Northern KZN Coastal Regional at Grantleigh School in Richards Bay on Saturday, May 21.
1 Domino Servite 2 Wartburg Kirchdorf School 3 Wembley College 4 Greytown High School 5 Deutsche Schule Hermannsburg
Wartburg 2 v Wembley 0
Domino 1 v Greytown 0
Hermannsburg 0 v Wartburg 5
Greytown 0 v Wembley 1
Hermannsburg 0 v Domino 3
Wartburg 0 v Greytown 0
Wembley 1 v Domino 1
Greytown 2 v Hermannsburg 0
Domino 0 v Wartburg 0
Wembley 2 v Hermannsburg 0
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