Roses survive Proteas fightback to take Test 1 win
ENGLAND dominated early and held firm late to claim a 54-51 win over South Africa in the first of test of the thre-match series.
Strong early defensive pressure from the Roses helped ensure they were the ones to be the first to break the opponent’s centre pass, but the South Africans broke back the very next centre pass and then levelled up proceedings the next centre pass.
However, the Roses were quick to regain momentum, and went on a run of three unanswered goals to restore their lead.
A continuously strong defensive game from the Roses helped them extend that lead in the backend of the quarter, as Fran Williams was particularly playing strong and was being rewarded up the other end by Eleanor Cardwell and some impressive balancing moves.
The second quarter saw England really establish some dominance on the game. The Roses extended their lead early in the second term as the South Africans struggled to find their range.
Imogen Allison and her interception skills rose to prominence in the second term, as England’s five goal quarter time lead rose to eight at the main break.
England continued to ring in the changes particularly through the midcourt, but as the South Africans continued to clean up their unforced errors they began to eat away a bit at the deficit. Just as England were able to rely on both shooters to score an even amount of the goals, just about all of South Africa’s goals were coming via Venter.
Spurred on again by a star intercept from Williams and a buzzer beater from Cardwell despite losing the quarter by a goal, the Roses took a seven goal lead into the final change. England continued to dominate proceedings early in the last as the Roses’ lead hit double figures.
However, the SPAR Proteas were not going to go down without a fight, and slowly but surely worked their way back into the game. The South Africans improved their defensive game and increased their intercepts as Kamogelo Maseko out at goal attack worked her way into the game more and as such the South Africans were becoming less reliant on Venter to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
However, they ultimately left their run too late as England held firm and scored some goals at crucial times to take the win.
ENGLAND 16 | 14 | 13 | 11 (54)
SOUTH AFRICA 11 | 11 | 14 | 15 (51)
GS: Eleanor Cardwell
GA: Sasha Glasgow
WA: Hannah Joseph
C: Imogen Allison
WD: Funmi Fadoju
GD: Fran Williams
GK: Halimat Adio
GS: Ine-Mari Venter
GA: Nichole Taljaard
WA: Bongiwe Msomi
C: Khanyisa Chawane
WD: Jeante Strydom
GD: Karla Pretorius
GK: Phumza Maweni