The Gauteng Jaguars are just one step away from defending their Telkom Netball League trophy after beating the Southern Stings 42-36 in Sunday’s Division one semi-final.

The Jaguars have had a formidable journey in the competition with their unbeaten streak after 11 matches, scoring 441 goals and conceding the least in the tournament so far.

Jaguars coach, Jenny Van Dyk will do whatever it takes to retain the title: ‘’It has been a phenomenal run for us. We just going to go home, rest and take a mental break for the rest of this day. We going to do a lot of body recovering before the final and then we’ll start preparing the game plan to make sure that we understand and that we come with a good plan to take that trophy home.’’

In the other semi-final, the Free State Crinums won 38-37 against the Golden Fireballs in a thrilling encounter. The Crinums were firing from the get-go, leading the first quarter 12-4 but Fireballs coach, Dumisani Chauke was not perturbed by this as she kept the same starting seven from start to finish.

The Fireballs started their comeback in the second quarter, closing the gap to just four goals but the tempo in the last quarter accelerated as the Gauteng side threatened to cause an upset as they levelled matters at one stage. However, the Crinums’ tenacity fought them off to ensure a one goal victory at the end.

Crinums coach, Burta de Kock gave credit to her team: ‘’We are truly blessed and we going to grab this opportunity with both hands. We have a lot of youngsters in the team and for them to experience this, makes me so happy.’’

The Crinums will now go up against the Jaguars in the final on Tuesday and will be contesting for a fourth title having both won the competition three times, making them the only two teams to ever win this tournament.

On the other hand, Fireballs coach, Dumisani Chauke is happy that her team reached their primary goal that they set for themselves prior to this tournament.

‘’We didn’t have that good start in the first quarter but we came back in the second quarter and won that quarter by far and we just showed that we can do this. I mean the game came down right to the wire and that is exactly what you would want when you are watching netball of this caliber. Yes, we disappointed for not making it to the final, but we still pleased with ourselves because we just wanted a top four finish coming here.’’

The last match of the day saw the North West Flames beating the Kingdom Stars 46-42 in the 5th/6th play-off game. The match was forced to go into extra time after the score was locked at 34. The North West side will go back home relieved knowing they have retained their spot in the division but as for the Stars, they still have one more hurdle to overcome in the relegation/promotion game against the Kingdom Queens or the Eastern Cape Aloes.

Earlier Fixtures:

Mpumalanga Sunbirds were the second team to be docked points in the Telkom Netball League on Sunday, 25 October 2020.

They were up against Kingdom Queens in the first Division B semi-final and initially won 43-42 but have now forfeited the match according to rules 3.6 and 3.7 of the tournament.

Sunbirds played the entire second quarter 6/1 (six blacks and one white) and have now been docked points, losing the game 0-42. Queens will now gear up for tomorrow’s final against Aloes and the winner of this game will take part in the promotion/relegation match on Tuesday afternoon.

Clause 3.6 states: Provincial teams should reflect the demographics of the country. Team management should be 50/50 and the filter of players should be 2/5 or ¾ on court and should apply at all times. Failing to comply, points and goals will be taken from the non-complying team. Provincial demographics will be considered on approval of players and team management.

Clause 3.7 states: The competing team should play 2/5 or ¾ in each quarter of the game, if a team plays 6/1 on court for the entire quarter and complied with 2/5 or ¾ in other quarters, that team will be considered non-compliant of target system and such teams will forfeit points and goals of that game.

Meanwhile, Eastern Cape Aloes booked their spot in the final after beating Western Cape Tornados 37-26 to set up a final with Queens.

Both these teams will be meeting for the third time in the competition and have both secured one win apiece. In the first match, Aloes led all four quarters and won 39-34 but Queens bounced back in the second game after losing the first and second quarter to win the match in the last two minutes by one goal.

‘’Queens game will not be an easy one, they going to come hard at us but obviously we will go back and do our homework against them. Yes, they beat us by one goal the previous time, but the girls have the right energy and spirit,’’ Aloes coach, Sameshia Esau, commented after the game.

Northern Cape Diamonds will have something to smile about after beating Limpopo Baobabs 47-35 in the 5th/6th play-off match. This was a major improvement from Diamonds having lost all their matches in last year’s edition but registered three victories during the round robin stage and a win in the play-off match.

Monday, 26 October 2020, Fixtures:

15:00- Mpumalanga Sunbirds vs Western Cape Tornados (Division 2- 3rd/4th play-off)

17:00- Kingdom Queens vs Eastern Cape Aloes (Division 2- Final) 1

19:00- Southern Stings vs Golden Fireballs (Division 1- 3rd/4th play-off