There was a certain amount of confusion at the end of the round-robin section of the SPAR National Championships at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Rustenburg on Thursday, when it was revealed that instead of playing semi-finals, as originally scheduled, the top four teams in each pool would play quarterfinals on Friday morning, with the winners playing the semi-finals in the afternoon.
“The teams should have been told earlier,” said Netball South Africa president Mimi Mthethwa, “But I have had a meeting with all the presidents of the unions involved, and they have accepted the change.
“It was agreed that the teams coming third and fourth in their pools should have a chance to fight for a place in the semi-finals,” explained Mthethwa, “So as to balance the results of the pools.”
While defending champions Gauteng North have been the strongest team throughout the championships, Dr Kenneth Kaunda emerged surprise winners of Pool 2, when they beat the more favoured Gauteng Central 54-36 in one of the best matches of the day.
“They’re very young, but they succeeded because they played as a team,” said coach Dorette Badenhorst. “The majority of them are under-21 or under-19, but we have a player like former SPAR Protea Leigh-Ann Zackey to add experience,” added Mthethwa.
“Because they are young, they are very fit and have a lot of stamina, and can outrun and outlast teams with older players.”
Gauteng Central coach, former Protea Martha Mosoahle Sam, said her team played badly on Thursday, and this had cost them dearly. “Today was the real test, and they didn’t come to the party,” she said. “We fell behind in the first quarter, when they were ahead by 15 goals to five, and after that we were always playing catch-up.
“We came back strongly in the second quarter, and at one stage were just four goals behind, but Kenneth Kaunda are a good team and you can’t come back against a team like that.”
— Bruce Davidson (@bruceybld) August 9, 2013
Both coaches had prepared for semi-finals, and had not expected to have to play an extra match. “It throws everything out,” said Sam.
“Yesterday, we knew that the four semi-finalists would be Gauteng North, Gauteng Central, ourselves and Mangaung,” said Badenhorst. “All that had to be decided was who would play who. Now we have to play an extra match, and to play two crucial matches on the same day.”
SPAR National Netball Championships Quarter-Final Fixtures at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace, Phokeng, in the North West, on Friday, 9 August, 2013: Dr Kenneth Kaunda vs Boland Gauteng Central vs Nelson Mandela Bay Gauteng North vs Western Province Mangaung vs Francis Baard (formerly Griqualand West) Results: Day Four of the SPAR National Netball Championships at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace, Phokeng, in the North West, on Thursday, 8 August, 2013: A Section: Mangaung 51-29 Boland Frances Baard 69-59 Umgungundlovu Buffalo City 48-42 Royal Bafokeng Gauteng North 74-26 Nelson Mandela Bay Dr Kenneth Kaunda 54-36 Gauteng Central Umgungundlovu 41-39 Western Province Boland 47-24 Royal Bafokeng Frances Baard 54-51 Ekurhuleni B Section: Nelson Mandela Bay 50-42 Vhembe Gert Sibande W/O Cacadu Gauteng North 54-41 Zululand Gauteng West 61-26 West Coast Capricorn 32-29 Amathole SWD 42 Western-41 Province Boland 53-21 Bojanala Gert Sibanda 36-31 Nelson Mandela Bay Gauteng West 52-33 Cacadu Vhembe 34-34 Capricorn Gauteng North 49-26 Bojanala Zululand 56-43 Central Boland West Coast 41-30 Amathole Boland 51-22 Western Province C Section: SANDF 56-26 Royal Bafokeng Ilembe 49-40 NM Molema Ethekwini 50-45 Waterberg Gauteng Vaal 73-25 Umzinyathi Nkangala 45-40 Uthungulu Alfred Nzo 45-29 Sekhukhune Ilembe 54-33 Siyanda Royal Bafokeng 42-41 NM Molema Gauteng Vaal 41-20 Uthukela Ethekwini 62-31 Umzinyathi Western Province 49-26 Sisonke Ehlanzeni 66-27 Chris Hani Uthungulu 61-22 Sekhukhune Results: Day Three of the SPAR National Netball Championships at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace, Phokeng, in the North West, on Wednesday, 7 August, 2013: A Section: Dr Kenneth Kaunda 60-33 Ekurhuleni Mangaung 44-33 Nelson Mandela Bay Gauteng Central 55-28 Frances Baard Dr Kenneth Kaunda 53-42 Western Province Umgungundlovu 38-29 Ekurhuleni Gauteng North 61-19 Boland Mangaung 76-26 Royal Bafokeng Nelson Mandela Bay 54-34 Buffalo City B Section: Nelson Mandela Bay 60-26 Capricorn Gert Sibanda 46-23 Amathole Gauteng West 49-39 Vhembe West Coast 45-40 Cacadu Gauteng North 52-23 SWD Zululand 38-35 Bojanala Boland 58-20 Central Boland Gauteng West 53-26 Nelson Mandela Bay West Coast 48-35 Vhembe Bojanala 51-34 Central Boland Zululand 53-31 SWD Gert Sibanda 47-25 Capricorn Cacadu 48-38 Amathole Gauteng North 51-40 Western Province C Section: SANDF 55-47 NM Molema Waterberg 70-14 Umzinyathi Gauteng Vaal 52-41 Ehlanzeni Ethekwini 66-23 Uthukela Western Province C 59-23 Alfred Nzo Nkangala 84-15 Sekhukhune NM Molema 57-38 Siyanda Fezile Dabi 53-36 Royal Bafokeng Waterberg 43-39 Ehlanzeni Ethekwini 66-25 Chris Hani Uthukela 34-21 Umzinyathi Ngangala 49-36 Western Province Uthungulu 53-25 Sisonke Results: Day Two of the SPAR National Netball Championships on Tuesday 6 August, 2013: A Section: Gauteng North 49-30 Mangaung Gauteng Central 44-25 Ekurhuleni Nelson Mandela Bay 60-29 Royal Bafokeng Gauteng North 75-16 Buffalo City Dr Kenneth Kaunda 56-40 Umgungundlovu Gauteng Central 40-33 Western Province Buffalo City 54-28 Boland Frances Baard 47-43 Western Province B Section: Vhembe 59-28 Amathole Western Province 47-39 Bojanala Boland 36-24 Gauteng North Nelson Mandela Bay 70-43 Cacadu West Coast 40-29 Capricorn Gert Sibande 40-39 Gauteng West SWD 45-39 Central Boland Waterberg 38-35 Gauteng Vaal Chris Hani 48-28 Umzinyathi Nelson Mandela Bay 58-29 West Coast Gert Sibanda 29-24 Vhembe Zululand 44-42 Western Province Gauteng West 51-20 Amathole Capricorn 49-37 Cacadu Boland 49-32 SWD C Section: Ilembe 49-41 SANDF Alfred Nzo 51-39 Sisonke Fezile Dabi 56-42 NM Molema Siyanda 31-27 Royal Bafokeng B Western Province 51-47 Uthungulu Ehlanzeni 50-23 Uthungela Waterberg 38-35 Gauteng Vaal Chris Hani 48-28 Umzinyathi SANDF 48-41 Siyanda Ilembe 58-44 Fezile Dabi Nkangala 60-23 Alfred Nzo Waterberg 56-19 Uthungela Sisonke 60-22 Sekhukhune Ethekwini 52-35 Ehlanzeni Gauteng Vaal 43-23 Chris Hani Results: Day 1 Spar National Netball Championships on Monday 5 August, 2013: A Section: Mangaung Metro 54-28 Buffalo City Western Province 54-38 Ekurhuleni Nelson Mandela Bay 50-40 Boland Dr Kenneth Kaunda 71-26 Frances Baard Gauteng North 82-18 Royal Bafokeng Gauteng Central 47-29 Umgungundlovu B Section: Gauteng West 60-22 Capricorn Gert Sibande 38-33 West Coast SWD 46-43 Bojanala Gauteng North 55-35 Central Boland Nelson Mandela Bay 57-15 Amathole Vhembe 55-39 Cacadu Western Province 53-31 Central Boland Boland 70-25 Zululand C Section: SANDF 57-47 Fezile Dabi Waterberg 62-20 Chris Hani Nkangala 46-30 Sisonke Ehlanzeni 62-16 Umzinyathi Western Province 69-21 Sekhukhune Ilembe 60-17 Royal Bafokeng B Ethekwini 35-25 Gauteng Vaal Fezile Dabi 43-31 Siyanda 31 Chris Hani 30-29 Uthungela Uthungulu 54-31 Alfred Nzo
(With editing by gsport)