Jaguars Weather Stars’ Storm in Thrilling Encounter

Jaguars dim Stars’ hopes with a 48-34 victory in Division 1 of the 2023 Telkom Netball League at Heartfelt Arena on Saturday, June 10, 2023. Photo: Supplied / NSA

The Heartfelt Arena continued to fill up as spectators geared up for the Jaguars and Stars game in Pretoria on Saturday evening.

The Stars were in need of a win ahead of this encounter having only won one match since the league started, but the Jaguars were already out of their way to dim the Stars’ hopes with a 14-5 lead in the first quarter.

The Stars regrouped and had a great start in the second quarter, adding scoreboard pressure onto the Jaguars. The script changed as the Gauteng side started making a lot of unforced errors and Goal Attack Thobekile Mjaja flourished in converting the gains to close the gap to six. The Stars failed to remain clinical and became expensive on attack, giving the Jaguars access to increase their lead by nine goals at half-time.

The Stars continued to show their hunger and the pressure applied by Nozipho Ntshangase and Thulisile Maduna did not drop one bit in the third quarter. Jaguars shooting pair Nonsikelelo Mazibuko and Kamogelo Maseko struggled to communicate effectively and gave away some crucial balls inside the shooting circle. The tight contest saw the Jaguars lead 11-10 in the championship quarter. The Jaguars worked tirelessly to protect their cushion throughout the fourth quarter and drew energy from the crowds’ cheers to win the game.

Jaguars coach Rozanne Matthyse says her team could have been more clinical today, ”I won’t say we taking the win, I won’t say I am very excited with the performance and I think we made a lot of mistakes but I also looked at different combinations. I tried different things and I wanted to see in this match, who gels, what works for us and what we still need to work on.”

In Division Two, the Kingdom Queens were unable to stop the Tornados’ moving train after suffering a 28-47 defeat. It was nip and tuck throughout the first quarter as to who would take the lead, and only one goal separated the two sides, in favor of the Tornados. Tornados coach Freda Kemp made two attacking changes in the second quarter, which injected some speed and variety on attack. The Queens attempted to keep up with the increased tempo of the game, but incurred twenty-nine penalties at half-time.

Having scored just four goals in the second quarter, this prompted a new shooting combination for the KZN side, and the change instilled an improved showing in the third quarter, although it didn’t make a dent in the margin. Tornados’ Center Adriana Carstens was in her element and proved how clutch she could be in the last quarter, amassing fourteen feeds, five goal assists and an intercept to steer her team to victory and scoop the Player of the Match accolade.

Meanwhile, the Diamonds need to dig deeper and find their winning sparkle again after suffering their third successive defeat. The Limpopo Baobabs were once again prodigious, scoring one hundred and twenty goals in just twenty-four hours and beating the Diamonds 59-44. The Diamonds will look to redeem themselves in their last fixture of the weekend, tomorrow morning against Sonoblomo.

Sunbirds Bounce Back Against Tenacious Sonoblomo

The Mpumalanga Sunbirds can now breathe a sigh of relief following a hard-fought 50-46 victory against the Free State Sonoblomo. The Sunbirds were looking to redeem themselves after conceding sixty-one goals against the Baobabs on Friday, 9 June. Both teams executed their game plans precisely in the first quarter and kept their error rate minimal.

Sonoblomo transitioned down court smoothly on attack, and the shooting combination of Bianca Pienaar and Elri Groenewald grew in confidence with their palpable long-range shots. The Sunbirds were able to create space and thrived in placing the ball perfectly, taking a one- goal lead at half-time.

The third quarter was an intercept contest, which got the crowd excited. Sonoblomo gave away more balls, and the Sunbirds managed to capitalize on three opportunities that presented themselves, extending their lead by three goals in the third quarter. Things started heating up in the final quarter as Sonoblomo worked overtime to fight their way back, but the Sunbirds’ insurmountable momentum denied the Free State team a second victory in the league.

Sonoblomo coach Gertriana Schoonraad lauded her team for the character shown on court, ”I am very proud; they gave it their all. We knew it was going to be a tough and physical game, we just said, keep to your own game plan and play them like we know we can. So, I’m very pleased and happy with my team’s performance.”

Meanwhile, the Comets secured a comfortable 47-34 victory against the Lilies this morning. The Comets didn’t take time to dwell on yesterday’s draw and looked even more determined to walk away victorious from the first whistle. The three points collected in total this weekend see them move to six points and possibly leapfrogging the Queens into fifth position, depending on the outcome later on when the Queens play against the Tornados.

In Division One, the Flames beat the Eastern Cape Aloes 49-29 after building on a dominant start in the first quarter. Goal Defense Sanmarie Visser proved to be a nightmare for the Aloes’ shooters and was named the Player of the Match for her brilliant defensive performance. The high penalty count worked against the Eastern Cape team and, despite both teams giving away an equal number of balls, conversion remained a challenge.

The Flames finished on a low fifty-eight goal percentage but were able to create forty-three more chances to separate themselves by twenty goals at the end of the match.

Results: Telkom Netball League on Saturday, 10 June 2023

Comets 47-34 Lilies

Sunbirds 50-46 Sonoblomo

Flames 49-29 Aloes

Diamonds 44-59 Baobabs

Queens 28-47 Tornados

Jaguars 48-34 Stars

Fixtures: Telkom Netball League on Sunday, 11 June 2023

08:00 – Tornados vs Sunbirds

10:00 – Sonoblomo vs Diamonds

Photo 1 Caption: Jaguars dim Stars’ hopes with a 48-34 victory in Division 1 of the 2023 Telkom Netball League at Heartfelt Arena on Saturday, June 10, 2023. Photo: Supplied / NSA

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