16 July 2018 Read: 153
The South African Hockey Association in conjunction with South African Schools Hockey hosted the 2018 Northern U/13 Regional Tournament right here in Tzaneen this week. The tournament is one of the biggest hockey gatherings in the country and dwarfs the Inter-Provincial Tournament and the SA Country Districts tournaments currently being played in Gauteng and KZN.
Ben Vorster astro and the grass fields at Unicorn Preparatory school hosts around 13 field hockey games daily as the teams vie for their place in the play-offs and ultimately the finals to be played today at the astro pitch at Ben Vorster.
The regions who are participating in this tournament include teams from Kwa-Zulu Natal, Eastern Free State, Limpopo, North West, Southern Gauteng, Eastern Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Northern Free State and the KZN Coastal teams.
On Monday morning the tournament flicked off with a showdown between the Falcons from Gauteng and the eastern Free State Girls. Limpopo got their first taste of the competition when the Mopani Girls took on the Panthers in a match that ended in a one-all draw.
The Mopani Boys team did not fair as well as their feminine counterparts when they faced off against the much better prepared KZN Inlands team who thrashed the local boys by four goals to nil. It was evident that the KZN boys had become accustomed to playing on an astro surface and they used this to their advantage as they simply out-manoeuvred their local opponents.
Bulletin will be attending the rest of the playoff games and the finals this afternoon and will keep our readers informed on the progress. By all accounts it would appear as though the local team with the most promise to reach the finals is the Mopani U/13 Girls team.
The tournament has attracted much needed publicity for the region and is set to grow in stature when the local hockey fraternity hosts it again in the years to come.