St Mary’s Investec Hockey Festival opening day

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St Mary’s School, Waverley, in partnership with Investec, are hosting the 18th instalment of the St Mary’s Investec Hockey Festival from 6 to 9 April 2017.The Festival got off to an early start at St Mary’s, Roedean School and Kingsmead College AstroTurfs.

Pearson, semi-finalists in 2016, had a great first match of the day with a 2-0 win over St Mary’s DSG (PTA) with a cracking goal by rising star of South African women’s hockey Ongi Mali (SA U21 2016), followed up by a goal from promising forward Roxy van Wyk. Mali was again on point to score an important winning goal in their next match against the St Mary’s Festival XI and certainly looks to have what it takes to make it really big in the South African women’s game in years to come.

On a day when rain and lightning delayed play at various times, defending champions, C & N. Meisieskool Oranje had another good day at the office, starting with a resounding 5-0 win over Kingsmead College, a magnificent victory considering the format of this festival is 25 minute matches played one way with no half-time breaks. They won their remaining three matches of round 1 on day one to lead their pool.

Hosts, St Mary’s School, Waverley First XI had a superb start to the festival, winning all three of their round 1 matches on the day, with Carly du Toit in scintillating form scoring two goals against a combatant Garsfontein and a number of their very young squad performing well in front of an exuberant “Spirit Squad” and loud hometown support. The St Mary’s Festival XI had a tough start to the festival with two narrow 0-1 losses against Eunice and Pearson before recovering well and settling into the higher level of hockey with a hard fought 4-2 win over Clarendon from the Eastern Cape.

Another school to shine on day one of the festival was St Anne’s from the KwaZulu-Natal, Midlands, winning all their round 1 matches, with Daniella Rhodes scoring two goals against Garsfontein in their 3-1 victory and another in their win over Our Lady of Fatima earlier in the day.

Student at St Mary’s School, Waverley and head of their marketing committee, Lelentle Mosimane said “Buzzing with excitement, St Mary’s cheerleaders and support crew led us into the second match of the day to support our team. The atmosphere was overwhelming as girls gathered to scream and shout.”

“The strong aroma of bacon and egg rolls filled the pavilion with many parents and teachers sipping on warm tea. Today was a very successful, yet busy day for the majority of the people at school including the players. It was evident that the teams put their all into their matches and, regardless of the bad weather, their energy never decreased,” added Mosimane.

“Our 45 strong media team of matrics and Grade 11 girls worked tirelessly and all festival social media pages are filled with different and exciting aspects of the festival. For the first day, today definitely had people wanting more and we hope that tomorrow brings the same and maybe even more excitement and energy,” concluded Lelentle Mosimane.

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