Kingswood College are geared up for their title defence but know they face a stiff examination when the opening leg of the SPAR Eastern Cape Schoolgirls Hockey Challenge gets under way on Friday.
The Port Elizabeth North tournament will take place at Union High in Graaff-Reinet, with the host school one of the strong contenders to regain the title they won in 2017.
A total of 11 schools will compete in two pools, striving to become the first qualifiers for the provincial finals to be held in late July.
Kingswood, from Grahamstown, are the defending champions but coach Bevan Bennett said they realised the competition would be keen this year.
“Overall the opposition looks much stronger this time and we have [Grahamstown rivals] DSG in our pool, so it will certainly be a tough battle to end top of the section,” he said.
“Similarly, Union High will be a difficult side to beat in