Spar Proteas Seal Thrilling Win over England to Level Series Ahead of Sunday’s Decider

South Africa stun hosts England in the third of three test to seal the narrowest of wins and level their three match series 1-all ahead of the tour decider at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham on Saturday

The Spar Proteas recorded a remarkable win over England in their second Test, sealing a 61-59 upset victory at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, England, on Saturday, 9 December, 2023.

With the first match having ending in the Vitality Roses’ favour at the AO Arena in Manchester, and following South Africa’s win in the second encounter, the series’ final game will decide who takes the series honours at in Nottingham on Sunday. 

Both teams were neck at the end of the first quarter with it ending at 16-16, proving what a tight affair this tussle was going to be. The Proteas were strong on attack in the first 15 minutes, allowing them to keep pace with England.

Coach Norma Plummer also made four changes to Saturday’s team, bringing in Nichola Smith, Refiloe Nketsa, Kamogelo Maseko, and Rolene Streutker in a bid to introduce some fresh legs for the match.

This seemed to be working as the Proteas picked up where they left off in Q2, managing to take a 34-30 lead into halftime against their opponents. Streutker who came in for Ine-Marie Venter was in fine form and kept the Proteas on the front foot against the Vitality Roses.

Then it was on to the championship quarter, and the visitors managed to maintain their momentum, overpowering the hosts to a 47-42 lead with one quarter to go. England was also forced to make several changes, which didn’t help with their continuity in the quarter. 

However, Jess Thirlby’s side managed to apply some late pressure on the Proteas, but the South African team held on to their lead.

In the final quarter of the game, England found their feet and started to apply more pressure on Plummer’s team, forcing their mid-court into errors that Sasha Glasgow and Eleanor Cardwell capitalised on to help bring the hosts level in a matter of minutes. 

This is when coach Plummer decided it was time to bring out the big guns, and she introduced captain and stalwart Bongi Msomi off the bench in place of Nketsa. 

There was a misplaced pass between Kamogelo Maseko and Khanyisa Chawane, which England picked up on and allowed them to take the lead. 

But thanks to the Player of the Match Streutker, she got South Africa back on level terms, before Maseko’s shot in the dying minutes of the match allowed the Proteas to hold on for the stunning win.

Vitality Roses vs Spar Proteas Test Series (All times CAT):

Tue 5 Dec: England 54-51 South Africa
Sat 9 Dec: England 59-61 South Africa
Sun 10 Dec, 16:00: at Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham 

Vitality Roses Starting Seven

Halimat Adio (GK)
Fran Williams (GD)
Funmi Fadoju (WD)
Imogen Allison (C)
Hannah Joseph (WA)
Berri Neil (GA)
Eleanor Cardwell (GS)

Substitutes

Sasha Glasgow
Jayda Pechova
Ellie Rattu
Alicia Scholes
Olivia Tchine

South Africa Starting Seven: 

Nichola Smith (GK)
Karla Pretorius (GD)
Jeante Strydom (WD)
Refiloe Nketsa (C)
Khanyisa Chawane (WA)
Kamogelo Maseko (GA)
Rolene Streutker (GS)

Substitutes: 

Boitumelo Mahloko
Phumza Maweni
Bongiwe Msomi
Owethu Ngubane
Nichole Taljaard


Photo caption: The Spar Proteas recorded their first win over England in their three-match series that runs from 5-10 December 2024. South Africa sealed a 61-59 victory and with the first match ending in the Vitality Roses’ favour, the final game on Sunday will decide who takes the series. Photo: Netball SA on X

Photo caption: Goal Shooter Rolene Streutker was named player of the match, after South Africa’s upset win on Saturday evening. Photo: Netball South Africa on X

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