Johannesburg has won the 2023 Spar National Netball Championships with a pulsating 46-40 victory over Mangaung to retain the title they won in Potchefstroom last year, at Hoërskool Rustenburg in the North West on Saturday, 7 October, 2023.
Johannesburg got off to a flying start, scoring six goals before the Free State team scored their first. Mangaung took eight minutes to get on the scoreboard, but then scored four unanswered goals. By the end of the first quarter, Johannesburg led 15-6.
The match was fast and furious, with the ball moving from end to end. Defence on both sides was outstanding.
Mangaung Step Up
Mangaung came back strongly in the second quarter, outscoring the Gauteng team by 14 goals to nine. At halftime, Johannesburg were 24-20 ahead and the third quarter was fairly even, with Mangaung scoring ten goals to nine for Johannesburg.
But in the final quarter, Johannesburg showed why they were champions, winning the quarter by 13 goals to nine. Mangaung threw everything they had into it but to no avail. With memories of their drawn round robin match against Mangaung, Johannesburg made sure that they kept ahead of their opponents.
Coach Dr Elsje Jordaan said they had wanted to get off to a good start and put pressure on Mangaung early on.
A Bit of a Blitzkrieg
“It was a bit of a blitzkrieg and it worked. Scoreboard pressure is something else, and it consumes a lot of energy to play catch-up netball.”Johannesburg Head Coach Dr Elsje Jordaan
“It almost worked like a fairy story. They came back strongly in the second and third quarters, but we took control again in the fourth.
“This is the third year of our journey and I believe we are just getting stronger. We have a mixture of youth and experience and will develop from there.”
Jordaan said the SPAR Netball Championships are very important to South African netball.
“It’s the oldest tournament and it’s very hard. Up to 10 matches in a week and it can be very tiring. But it’s good to be involved in a tournament that includes players who will never play at senior A level. There’s a tremendous spirit, and we play for those players as well.”
Netball South Africa President Cecilia Molokwane said she was happy that the SPAR Proteas had not been part of the tournament.
“It’s good for netball. There’s a lot of talent that we have identified in the absence of the national players.”Netball South Africa President Cecilia Molokwane
“It’s been a very hot week, but it’s been a week of fun, of good netball and of identifying talents – not just the players, but coach and officials as well,” she said.
Earlier, Dr Kenneth Kaunda narrowly beat Cape Winelands 53-52 in the play-off for the third place bronze medal.
Final Results of the 2023 Senior National Championships on Saturday, 7 October, 2023
Senior A – Finals
Johannesburg 46 – Mangaung 40
Senior A – Play offs Positions 3/4
Cape Winelands 52 – Dr Kenneth Kaunda 53
Senior Division Best Player Awards
Best Shooter – Sian Moore (Cape Winelands)
Best Mid-Court Player – Monica Gomases (Johannesburg)
Best Defender – Ané Retief (Mangaung)
Player of the Tournament – Owethu Ngubane (Johannesburg)
Most Developed – Kamogelo Moiloe (Bojanala)
Main Photo Caption: Johannesburg – The winning Johannesburg team with the SPAR National Championships trophy after winning 46 – 40 against Mangaung at Hoërskool Rustenburg in North West Province on Saturday, 7 October 2023. Picture Credit: Reg Caldecott
Photo 2 Caption: Pictured from left are the 2023 SPAR National Netball Championships Player of the Tournament, Owethu Ngubane (Johannesburg), Best Shooter, Sian Moore (Cape Winelands), Best Mid-Court, Monica Gomases (Johannesburg), Best Defender, Ané Retief (Mangaung) and Most Developed, Kamogelo Moiloe (Bojanala). Picture Credit: Reg Caldecott
Photo 3 Caption: 2023 Senior National Championships Best Mid-Court Player Monica Gomases in action against Mangaung during the tournament final at Hoërskool Rustenburg on Saturday. Picture Credit: Reg Caldecott
Photo 4 Caption: 2023 Senior National Championships Player of the Tournament Owethu Ngubane Johannesburg in action against Mangaung during the tournament finals. Picture Credit: Reg Caldecott
Photo 5 Caption: The Johannesburg team kiss the SPAR National Championships trophy after defending the title they won in Potchefstroom last year, at Hoërskool Rustenburg in North West Province on Saturday, 7 October 2023. Picture Credit: Reg Caldecott. Picture Credit: Reg Caldecott