Zimbabwe’s U14 Girls water polo side at the ongoing four-day South African Schools inter-provincial Championships are through to the final after a 5-3 win over Central Gauteng A at Reddam House this evening (13 December 2015).
An own goal by Gauteng opened Zimbabwe’s account in the first quarter. The girls took matters into their own hands and kept the scoreboard ticking. Two shots at goal found the back of the net by the end of the first quarter courtesy of great teamwork and sharp finishing from Dayna Bond(2 goals). Alexai Terblanche added another to Zimbabwe’s tally midway through the second quarter to leave the scoreboard reading 4-0 to the Zimbabweans at the halftime break.
Gauteng tried to claw their way back into the game, but Jenna Mathieson stood strong between the goal posts and kept Zimbabwe’s chances of a place in the finals alive. The third quarter saw Gauteng’s first goal and two more in the last quarter gave Zimbabwe a bit of a scare. Terblanche secured Zimbabwe’s victory with a belter from the penalty spot with only a minute and a half to play.
Zimbabwe U14 held on for a sweet 5-3 victory and a place in the finals against Western Province A who won 6-0 against Border in the second semi-final.
It hasn’t been all rosy for the Zimbabwe girls, as they started their campaign with a 6-0 loss to Western Province on Friday. Kudos to coaches Kelsey White and Nicole O’Callaghan who kept the girls’ heads high after that tough opener. White admits it will be a tough encounter against the hosts in the final, but believes her team has a strong chance. She cited their strength in building on their play throughout the weekend, learning from and not repeating earlier mistakes.
By making the finals, the girls have surpassed all expectations. Currently only four Zimbabwean high schools have active girls water polo programs in Zimbabwe: Chisipite, Girls College, Hellenic and Peterhouse. Their competing and winning against South African Provinces that each pull their select teams from over 30 high schools is really commendable.
The final for the U14 girls moves from Reddam House to Newlands Pool on Monday. If you are backing the Zimbabweans and you’re in Cape Town, Newlands is the place to be at 10.20am tomorrow.
Zimbabwe Girls U14 Water Polo
1.Jenna Mathieson 2.Michelle Linfield 3.Taya Trivella 4.Montana Langridge 5.Alexai Terblanche 6. Dayna Bond 7.Billie Nel 8.Joanna Goss 9.Kayla Rugg 10.Caitlin Staines 11.Jordyn Davis 12.Michaela Hoggarth