An exhilarating affair at the St Mary’s Hockey Festival

St Mary's Waverley players celebrate following a goal by Rachel Bartlett in the semi-final against C&N Meisieskool Oranje.

 

Over the past 18 years, the St Mary’s Investec Hockey Festival has consistently kept spectators on the edge of their seats – and it was no different at this year’s festival.

Thirty-two teams from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia were in action.

Perennial winners C&N Meisieskool Oranje, St Mary’sWaverley, St Anne’s Diocesan College and Hoërskool Waterkloof qualified through rounds one and two to compete in the semi-finals.

The first semi-final saw St Mary’s and C&N Meisieskool Oranje go head-to-head with the home team going 1–0 up via the stick of Rachel Bartlett following a sustained period of attack. With seven minutes left, a goal by Oranje was disallowed but shortly thereafter, Oranje equalised.

St Mary’s School Waverley hockey captain Julia Fleming in action against Hoerskool DF Malan.

At 1–1, the match went to extra time but neither side could find the back of the net, so both sides had to settle for a penalty shootout. Each team scored one of their three initial penalties but it was Oranje who triumphed in the second round of the subsequent sudden death shootout.

The second semi-final between St Anne’s Diocesan College Hoërskool Waterkloof was a more sedate affair. After goals from Anneke Kleinhans for Waterkloof and Leah Kriel for St Anne’s, this match also went into extra-time and finally a penalty shootout. The talented St Anne’s player Daniella Rhodes and her teammates Sophie McDonald and Brady Wiseman all scored their penalties to beat Waterkloof 3–2 on penalties, sending St Anne’s into their first ever St Mary’s Investec Hockey Festival final.

The C&N Meisieskool Oranje team following their fourth consecutive win at the St Mary’s Investec Festival.

The final was a competitive affair after St Anne’s opened the scoring through a tap-in goal from McDonald. But relentless running and pressure from the Oranje team saw them run out 3–1 on the night, and the St Mary’s Investec Festival champions for the fourth consecutive year.

Julia Fleming, captain of St Mary’s said, “We would like to thank Investec for again supporting the St Mary’s festival and giving over 550 girls from 31 schools from around the country the opportunity to play some great hockey, form friendships and make incredible memories.”

Read: Rugheimer visits Future Nation School

Share your congratulations to C&N Meisieskool Oranje on the North Eastern Tribune Facebook page.

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