International netball update: Africa Netball Cup – Days 7-8
THE huge eight-day Africa Netball Cup event is done and dusted, with the South Africa Spar Proteas crowned champions following an impressive and undefeated run in Windhoek, Namibia. We run through the final two days’ results.
DAY 7 RESULTS
Malawi (60) def. Tanzania (33)
Zimbabwe (57) def. Kenya (46)
South Africa (57) def. Uganda (37)
Namibia (43) def. Zambia (42)
Botswana (44) def. Tanzania (40)
The seventh day of Africa Netball Cup action saw one of the most highly awaited clashes of the series so far play out between South Africa and Uganda. But while Uganda remained strong throughout, the Spar Proteas proved their dominance and showed just what separates the two nations on World Netball rankings. According to South Africa head coach Dorette Badenhorst, the win was testament to the Spar Proteas’ mental strength fighting through a tough opening half before gaining control.
“We knew that it was going to be a physical match against Uganda and we needed to be mentally ready for that one,” Badenhorst explained. “There is a lot happening outside of the four lines however ours is to make sure that we concentrate on the game.
“Playing against other African countries is always tough and as I have been saying since day one, we will underestimate no one, everyone gets the same respect from us.”
Malawi also came away with an impressive win, gaining some valuable confidence ahead of their final day. The 27-goal victory over Tanzania was in fact the greatest margin of the day, outclassing the Tanzanians at every whistle, who in turn worked hard to conserve energy for a second match that evening. Zimbabwe got back on the winners list with a confident 11-goal win over the improved Kenya outfit, while Namibia held on in a nail-biter against Zambia, defeating their higher-ranked foes by just one goal, 43-42. Unfortunately for the winless Tanzania, it was two losses on Day 7 with a tight four-goal loss to Botswana to finish off the penultimate day of competition. Zimbabwe, Botswana and Tanzania all completed their series with the above results, having played all eight of their scheduled matches.
DAY 8 RESULTS
South Africa (65) def. Namibia (39)
Uganda (44) drew Malawi (44)
Zambia (49) def. Kenya (48)
A huge final day of Africa Netball Cup action saw two tight matches follow up another blowout the way of South Africa, with another 26-goal victory over hosts, Namibia, seeing South Africa come away with a clean sweep of the competition. Namibia put up another strong effort to finish fourth overall, but could not combat the cleanliness of the Spar Proteas. South Africa assistant coach, Dumisani Chauke said that the focus was delivering what the Spar Proteas are capable of, and did it well no matter who they came up against.
“We knew that Namibia will give us a run for our money, we understood that they will bring their A-game here today and we needed to be ready for that,” she explained.
“I am really proud of how the girls rallied together and made sure that they deliver for the team. Whoever we put in today understood what the assignment was, regardless of where you come from the KPI’s do not change. We needed to make sure that we deliver.”
A huge medal clash between Malawi and Uganda came down to the wire, with Malawi leading for much of the close match. But the close contest would get even tougher, as Uganda piled on four of the last five goals to draw even with less than 20 seconds on the clock. While the draw was not the desired result for either team, it handed Uganda the silver medal and pushed Malawi into the bronze medal position despite holding on for much of the match. Meanwhile, Zambia clinched a tight one-goal victory over Kenya to secure a sixth placed finish on the overall leaderboard, maintaining control in the dying minute to command the 49-48 result.
Player of the Tournament: Bongi Msomi (RSA)
Best Shooter: Jane Chimaliro (MAL)
Best Midcourter: Bongi Msomi (RSA)
Best Defender: Phumza Maweni (RSA)