Western Cape continued their winning ways on the third day of the SPAR National Netball Championships at the Hoy Park Sports Centre on Wednesday, with victories over two of the top teams – Gauteng One and Free State.
Western Cape’s 61-40 win over Gauteng took everyone, including Western Cape, by surprise, as the match had been expected to be much closer. The Western Cape team stamped their authority on the match from the start, finishing the first quarter 19-13 ahead.
They extended their lead in the second quarter, to lead 32-23 at halftime. Gauteng fought bravely, and tied the third quarter with 11 goals apiece, but the coastal team were having none of it, and scored a flurry of goals in the final quarter to take the victory.
“I didn’t expect that scoreline,” said Western Cape coach Annali Lucas. “Our defenders were spot-on, and made it very difficult for them to score. Our defence is our strong point.
“Our players play as a team, and they look like a group of friends having fun, which is what they are,” she said.
“They are such an experienced team, and they have a lot of height, which is to their advantage,” said Gauteng coach Jenny van Dyk.
Their later match was far closer, and Western Cape trailed for much of the game, before coming back from a five-goal deficit in the first quarter, to win 39-34.
“That’s not the way you want to start a very important game, but we kept our composure. We knew that we could beat them, and we just hung in there,” said Western Cape captain Erin Botha.
“We are on track for where we want to be at this stage, but a tournament is not won on day three,” she said. “We still have work to do.”
North West Still on Track
Defending champions North West also remained on track, with comfortable victories over Eastern Cape (50-21), Mpumalanga (59-21) and Northern Cape (61-23). They face two crucial matches on Thursday, when they come up against Gauteng One and Free State.
In other matches played on Wednesday, Northern Cape beat Mpumalanga 49-44; Free State beat Limpopo 84-32; Gauteng One beat Kwa Zulu Natal (KZN) A2 60-32 and Eastern Cape 54-38; KZN A1 beat KZN A2 73-21; Eastern Cape beat Gauteng Two 34-31; and Gauteng One beat Mpumalanga 74-16.
Results from the SPAR National Championships, on Wednesday, 10 August, 2016:
Senior A Section:
North West 50 Eastern Cape 21; Northern Cape 49 Mpumalanga 44; Western Cape 61 Gauteng1 40; Free State 84 Limpopo 32; Gauteng2 60 KwaZulu Natal (KZN)2 32; North West 59 Mpumalanga 21; Gauteng1 54 Eastern Cape 38; KZN1 73 KZN2 21; Western Cape 39 Free State 34;
Senior B Section:
KwaZulu Natal B2 60 Dept Correctional Services (DC) 15; Western Cape 49 North West 37; Gauteng 46 Free State 39; KZN B1 47 Mpumalanga 36; Limpopo 44 SANDF 28; North West 43 KZN B2 31; Western Cape 50 Free State 30; Northern Cape 42 SANDF 28; Gauteng 44 Mpumalanga 30;
Under 21 A Section:
North West 44 Eastern Cape 35; Gauteng A2 57 Northern Cape 22; Free State 48 Western Cape 35; Gauteng1 48 Limpopo 36; Eastern Cape 47 Gauteng2 23; Gauteng1 31 North West 28; KZN A1 53 Limpopo 22; Free State 54 Northern Cape 18;
Under 21 B Section:
Western Cape 66 KZN B2 8; Gauteng 48 KZN B1 24; KZN B1 61 Limpopo 13; Northern Cape 36 KZN B2 25; Western Cape 52 Mpumalanga 13
Photo 1 caption: Vanes-Mari du Toit (left) and Phumza Maweni of the Western Cape competing with Rieze Straeuli of the Free State for position Wednesday at the Hoy Park Sports Complex in Durban during the SPAR National Netball Championships 2016. Photo: Reg Caldecott
Photo 2 caption: Mari-Lena Joubert (left) and Vanes-Mari du Toit of the Western Cape celebrating their win over the Free State on Wednesday at the Hoy Park Sports Complex in Durban during the SPAR National Netball Championships 2016. Photo: Reg Caldecott
With editing by gsport