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Hosts ready for epic 22nd edition of the St Mary’s Hockey Festival

By CS Chiwanza , in Hockey | Featured Hockey | News , at 2024-04-03 Tags: , , , , , ,

The road leads to St Mary’s Waverley, in Johannesburg, for 32 of the nation’s top hockey-playing girls’ schools, who will be contesting the annual St Mary’s Hockey Festival from Thursday.

The hockey showcase was launched in 2000 with just 12 teams and has grown exponentially over the years to become, arguably, the most prestigious girls’ hockey event on the South African sporting calendar.

Forty-nine festival participants have gone on to represent South Africa, and another two have donned the colours of Namibia, on the international stage.

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Defending champions Eunice heads into the festival hunting back-to-back titles. The Bloemfontein team will be looking to assert itself in Pool A, which also includes the inaugural champions, Pretoria High School for Girls.

The hosts, St Mary’s Waverley, have a point to prove in Pool B. They’re on the hunt for a sixth title, but last won it in 2011.

They won’t have things easy and will have to fight their way past, among others, DSG Makhanda, Paarl Girls’ High, high-flying St Anne’s, and St Mary’s DSG, Pretoria, also a previous winner.

Pool C is led by the seven-time champions Oranje. Since capturing the title for the first time in 2008, Oranje has been a dominant force. Between 2014 and 2017, they produced an unprecedented run of four consecutive titles. Another potential streak, between 2019 and 2022, was broken by Covid-19.

While Oranje was rampant in the Balling Hockey Festival and the Greg Beling Festival earlier this season, winning all of their games comfortably, another Greg Beling participant that shone was Rhenish, who are also in Pool C. They were convincing winners of all of their games, including a big 5-1 win over Eunice.

Fellow Pool C participants, Somerset College, this past weekend, lifted the Belgotex Sport Easter Hockey Tournament title.

Meanwhile, Pool D is hard to call. Collegiate Girls’ High School opens their challenge for a place in the history books with an outing against Our Lady of Fatima DCS.

Paarl Gimnasium‘s quest begins against the St Mary’s Waverley Festival XI, while former finalists, St Stithians Girls College, go up against Pearson High School.

Later, Saints will face the two-time champions (2007 and 2018) St Mary’s DSG, Kloof.

The hosts’ co-captains, Tyla Gibbs and Amy Smith, have extended a welcome to all festival attendees, saying: “We, as the captains and players of St Mary’s School, are delighted to welcome teachers, coaches, parents, and, most importantly, players to our school.

“The St Mary’s Hockey Festival is, undoubtedly, the best tournament of the season! Each and every one of you has worked so hard to get to this point, so go out and make the most of this experience.”

Pool A: Eunice High School; Herschel Girls School; Clarendon High School for Girls; Pretoria High School for Girls;  Hoërskool Meisieskool Bloemhof; Roedean School (SA); Afrikaanse Hoër Meisieskool, Pretoria; DF Malan.

Pool B: St Mary’s Waverley 1st XI; Durban Girls’ College; Paarl Girls’ High School; Menlopark; The Wykeham Collegiate; Windhoek High School; St Anne’s Diocesan College; St Mary’s DSG, Pretoria.

Pool C: Oranje;  Hoërskool Garsfontein; Rhenish Girls’ High School; St John’s DSG; St Andrew’s School for Girls;  Hoërskool Waterkloof; Somerset College; Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School,

Pool D: Collegiate Girls’ High School; Paarl Gimnasium; St Stithians Girls College; St Mary’s DSG, Kloof; St Cyprian’s School; Pearson High School; St Mary’s Waverley Festival XI; Our Lady of Fatima.

Fixtures | Day 1 

7:45GarsfonteinvsSomerset CollegeNathan Field
7:45EunicevsDF MalanHowell Hub
8:10OranjevsPietermaritzburg Girls' HighNathan Field
8:10HerschelvsAffiesHowell Hub
8:35RhenishvsWaterkloofNathan Field
8:35ClarendonvsRoedeanHowell Hub
9:00St John's DSGvsSt Andrew's School for GirlsNathan Field
9:00Pretoria High SchoolvsHMS BloemhofHowell Hub
9:30St Mary's WaverleyvsSt Mary's DSGNathan Field
9:30CollegiatevsOur Lady FatimaHowell Hub
9:55Paarl GimnasiumvsSt Mary's WaverleyNathan Field
9:55Durban Girls CollegevsSt Anne's DSGHowell Hub
10:20St Stithians CollegevsPearsonNathan Field
10:20Paarl Girls' HighvsHoërskool WindhoekHowell Hub
10:45St Mary's KloofvsSt Cyprian'sNathan Field
10:45MenloparkvsWykeham CollegiateHowell Hub
11:15EunicevsAffiesNathan Field
11:15OranjevsSomerset CollegeHowell Hub
11:40St Mary's WaverleyvsSt Anne's DSGNathan Field
11:40Pietermaritzburg Girls HighvsWaterkloofHowell Hub
12:05DF MalanvsRoedeanNathan Field
12:05GarsfonteinvsSt Andrew's School for GirlsHowell Hub
12:30HerschelvsHMS BloemhofNathan Field
12:30RhenishvsSt John's DSGHowell Hub
13:00CollegiatevsSt Mary's Waverley InvNathan Field
13:00ClarendonvsPretoria High School for GirlsHowell Hub
13:25St Mary's PretoriavsHoërskool WindhoekNathan Field
13:25Our Lady FatimavsPearsonHowell Hub
13:50Durban Girls CollegevsWykeham CollegiateNathan Field
13:50Paarl GimnasiumvsSt Cyprian'sHowell Hub
14:15OranjevsWaterkloofNathan Field
14:15St Stithians CollegevsSt Mary's KloofHowell Hub
14:40Paarl Girls' HighvsMenloparkNathan Field
14:45EunicevsRoedeanHowell Hub
15:05Somerset CollegevsSt Andrew's School for GirlsNathan Field
15:10AffiesvsHMS BloemhofHowell Hub
15:30Pietermaritzburg Girls HighvsSt John's DSGNathan Field
15:35DF MalanvsPretoria High School for GirlsHowell Hub
15:55GarsfonteinvsRhenishNathan Field
16:00HerschelvsClarendonHowell Hub
16:20CollegiatevsPearsonNathan Field
16:30St Mary's WaverleyvsHoërskool WindhoekHowell Hub
16:45St Anne's DSGvsWykeham CollegiateNathan Field
16:55St Mary's Waverley InvvsSt Cyprian'sHowell Hub
17:10Our Lady FatimavsSt Mary's KloofNathan Field
17:20St Mary's PretoriavsMenloparkNathan Field
17:45Durban Girls CollegevsPaarl Girls' HighNathan Field
18:15EunicevsHMS BloemhofNathan Field
18:40PearsonvsSt Mary's Waverley InvNathan Field
19:05St Mary's WaverleyvsWykeham CollegiateNathan Field
19:30Paarl GimnasiumvsSt Stithians CollegeNathan Field
20:00St Anne's DSGvsPaarl Girls' HighNathan Field
20:25St Mary's PretoriavsDurban Girls CollegeNathan Field
error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.