The SPAR Baby Proteas’ hopes of coming home with a medal were dealt a fatal blow in their quarterfinal fixture at the World Youth Netball Championships on Wednesday evening, when the African champions lost a gritty match 45-33 loss to England in Glasgow.
The first quarter against England was intense and fast, with both sides forcing errors from the opposition, only to throw the ball away moments later. South Africa appeared to be calm and collected, making the most of intercept opportunities.
The second quarter proved to test England as their wing attack was injured only twenty seconds in, and had to get taken off court.
England was forced to pick up their defence, and as the SPAR Baby Proteas struggled to get the ball through the net, England began to run away with the lead, doubling their goals from 12 to 24 whilst South Africa only scored 5 more.
Despite another injury just before half time, the England team showed up for the second half more determined than ever, and whilst the South African mid court played well, their shooters let them down.
“We didn’t keep our possession,” said Coach Dorette Badenhorst after the game. “We can’t beat the best if our goal average is 63%. We turned enough balls to beat them, but our shots weren’t going in.”
The SPAR Baby Proteas continued to play hot and cold for the duration of the match, as they managed to turn balls, but were unable to convert them into goals. The England side feasted on this, and ended the match with a 45-33 win.
England will go on to play Australia in the semi-finals tomorrow, and are planning on giving it their all; “We are so happy to be into the semis, that was what we came here to do” said Captain Natalie Haythornthwaite after the match.
“We knew this wasn’t going to be an easy match, but I couldn’t be prouder of our team. We will go out fighting tomorrow!”
A very emotional South African vice-captain Rochelle Lawson was disappointed, but looked ahead to their final fixture on Thursday: “We lost focus, we could have done better,” she admitted. “But tomorrow we are going to fight and give it our all.”
The SPAR Baby Proteas will play Barbados for fifth position on Thursday 29 August, at 15h45 Glasgow time.
World Youth Netball Championships Quarterfinal Results, on 27 August, 2013: England 45 – 33 SPAR South Africa Jamaica 64 – 32 Trinidad and Tobago New Zealand 79 – 41 Wales Australia 79 – 14 Barbados Pool A Results and Fixtures at the World Youth Netball Championship, in Glasgow, Scotland: 24 Aug: SA 64-32 Fiji 25 Aug: SA 134-4 Israel 26 Aug: SA 71-27 Namibia 27 Aug: SA 27-59 Australia The SPAR Under-21 National Netball Team: Deancke Rohde Danielle Willemse Mari-Lena Joubert Lisa-Marie Wiese Bongolethu Ngobeni Izette Lubbe Simphiwe Sithebe (captain) Nobubele Phuza Rochelle Lawson (vice-captain) Shadine van der Merwe Kefiloe Tsotetsi Zandre Kruger
(Editorial: Planet Netball / BLD Communications, with editing by gsport)