Gauteng North clinched their third successive title when they thrashed Gauteng Central 60-41 in the final of the Spar national netball championships at the University of Johannesburg on Saturday.
Although they were the team most affected by the withdrawal of the national players for a Proteas training camp, Gauteng North sailed through the tournament without losing a match.
Gauteng Central went into an early lead in the final and were 16-13 ahead at the end of the first quarter, but Gauteng North came storming back in the second quarter, to lead 31-23 at halftime. Gauteng North narrowly won the third quarter by 14 goals to 11, (44-34) but were completely dominant in the final period, scoring 16 goals to Central’s seven.
“We were a bit shaken after the first quarter,” said Gauteng North coach Jenny van Dyk.
“I think we allowed Gauteng Central to dictate the pace, which is slower than the pace we are used to. From the second quarter, we decided to dictate the pace, and that worked. We were able to control the ball better and play according to our own game plan.”
Van Dyk had particular praise for goal attack Lindie Lombaard and goal shooter Melissa Myburgh, who heard on Friday that she had been included in the national team for the Diamond League against Malawi, Botswana and Zambia next week. Myburgh was also named player of the tournament.
“Lindie was able to turn over the ball on frequent occasions, and her main strength is her quick release into the circle. Melissa was having such a good tournament that it made sense to make sure that she had the ball in hand. But it was very much a team effort, with the players having complete trust in one another.”
She made no substitutions during the match, saying she believed that the players who started the match should finish it. “I made a positional change, moving Rozanne Matthyse from centre to wing defence, because I could see that there was a problem with our defence.
“Our wing defence was giving their very fast wing attack too much space, but moving Rozanne to wing defence solved that problem.
Dr Kenneth Kaunda (North West South) won the play-off for third place, beating Nelson Mandela Bay 42-24.
Final SPAR National Netball Championships Results on 11 August 2012, at the University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park: A Section: Gold Medal match: Gauteng North 60-41 Gauteng Central 3rd/4th: Dr Kenneth Kaunda 42-24 Nelson Mandela Bay B Section: Bafokeng 40-39 Gauteng North C Section: Central Boland 44-41 SANDF Tournament Awards: Most Accurate Shooter: Danelle Willemse 86.6% (Free State Motheo) Best Centre Court Player: Simnikiwe Mdaka (Gauteng Central) Best Defense Player: Zanne-Marie Pienaar (Gauteng North) Best Shooter: Danelle Willemse (Free State Motheo) Overall Player of the Tournament: Melissa Myburg (Gauteng North) A Section Results on Day 5 of the SPAR National Netball Championships, at the University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park (Click here for all Day 5 results): A Section: Boland 61-33 Gauteng West Freestate Motheo 33-32 Western Province Ekurhuleni 49-40 Amathole Gauteng North 47-36 Nelson Mandela Bay Francis Baard 64-38 Gauteng West Gauteng Central 44-37 Dr Kenneth Kaunda Freestate Motheo 49-39 Ekurhuleni Western Province 47-31 Amathole A Section Results on Day 4 of the SPAR National Netball Championships, at the University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park (Click here for all Day 4 results): A Section: Gauteng Central 53-47 Frances Baard Boland Bizhub 44-41 Nelson Mandela Bay Gauteng Central 49-37 Western Province Nelson Mandela Bay 45-44 Ekurhuleni Gauteng North 61-38 Amathole Dr Kenneth Kaunda 47-41 Free State Motheo A Section Results on Day 3 of the SPAR National Netball Championships, at the University of Johannesburg in Auckland Park (Click here for all Day 3 results): A Section: Ekurhuleni 53-33 Gauteng West Dr Kenneth 46-32 Boland Bizhub Gauteng North 50-35 Gauteng Central Ekurhuleni 54-25 Amathole Nelson Mandela Bay 43-41 Dr Kenneth Kaunda Gauteng North 67-47 Frances Baard Western Province 40-25 Amathole Freestate Motheo 75-30 Gauteng West A Section Results on Day 2 of the SPAR National Netball Championships, at the University of Johannesburg in Auckland Park (Click here for all Day 2 results): A Section: Gauteng Central 40-36 Dr. Kenneth Kaunda FS Motheo Fundco 59-59 Ekurhuleni Gauteng North 58-42 Boland Bizhub Nelson Mandela Bay 61-45 Frances Baard Amathole 52-34 Gauteng West Free State Motheo Fundco 47-33 Western Province A Section Results on Day 1 of the SPAR National Netball Championships, at the University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park (Click here for all Day 1 results): A Section: Boland Bizhub 51-42 Frances Baard Western Province 56-30 Gauteng West Gauteng North 42-37 Dr. Kenneth Kaunda Gauteng Central 45-41 Nelson Mandela Bay Free State Motheo Fundo 53-28 Amathole Western Province 42-36 Ekurhuleni Dr. Kenneth Kaunda 63-23 Frances Baard Gauteng Central 55-44 Boland Bizhub Gauteng North 51-45 Nelson Mandela Bay