After a week of intense inter-provincial competition on the world-class Astro at Merensky High, the U/18B Regionals for girls in the Northern Region came to a head last week Friday. After three consecutive days between the nets, it was local goalkeeper, Layla de Bruyn for team Limpopo who was nominated the “Most Valued Keeper” of the tournament.

Despite her sterling performance which warded off some of the harshest attacks by some of the country’s top strikers, Limpopo just missed out on the medals when they took fourth place overall.

It was the girls from Southern Gauteng who took the gold after a top-class display throughout the tournament. In second place was Mpumalanga B with the North Westerners taking bronze. Limpopo settled for a very narrow fourth place after they were edged out in the final battle against the fierce Northern Free State side.

The Top Scorer for the tournament award was handed to the lightning quick Southerns forward, Kyra Freeman who scored six goals in six matches to end the aspirations of many an ambitious keeper. The Most Valuable Forward of the tournament award went to fellow Southerner, Erin Esterhuizen. In total, Southern Gauteng scored 24 goals in the tournament.

The Most Beneficial Defender title was afforded to Northern Free State’s Juané Kotzé for her amazing defending against South Gauteng, KZN Inland and Mpumalanga B.

All of the seven teams which competed in the tournament played two matches per day over the course of the three days of play. A total of 64 goals were scored during this period of which Southern Gauteng recorded more than a third. Limpopo’s girls held their own and netted eight goals.

“This tournament showcased the amazing talent on offer in our region and during this past week it was delightful to experience the comradery and good sportsmanship brought to the game by all the teams. The future of the sport of hockey looks bright and we welcome all the teams back to our turf for the next tournament,” said Anne Beech during the closing ceremony.

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