Flames keep top spot

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Flames – Diamonds

Log leaders the North West Flames had a training session against the Northern Cape Diamonds in their Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League match at the Ellis Park Indoor Stadium on Sunday, beating them by 82 goals to 21.

By halftime, the Flames were 34-8 ahead.  The Diamonds best quarter was the final one, in which they scored 10 goals.

Player of the match Kgomotso Ilthabanyeng, the Flames wing attack, said the match had given her team the opportunity to focus on their own goals.

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Jamari Myburgh of the Diamonds challenged by Kgomotso Ithlabanyeng of the Flames

“We were able to concentrate on what we were doing, and on trying to carry out what we have been doing in practice,” she said.

Coach Dorette Badenhorst said she had tried some new combinations, for instance, using Renske Stoltz in the centre court, rather than as goal attack.

“I wanted to give Marike Maree a go at goal attack.  You never know when you might need another shooter,” she said.

Badenhorst said the problem with a one-sided match was that the players tended to lose focus.

“I need them to make their own decisions, and to take responsibility for their actions on court,” said Badenhorst.

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Bongiwe Msomi of the Kingdom Stars challenged by Lauren Lee Christians of the Crinums

Crinums – Kingdom Stars

The much-anticipated encounter between the Free State Crinums and the Kingdom Stars turned out to be a damp squib, with the defending champions easily defeating the Kwa-Zulu-Natal team by 45 goals to 25.  The match was very physical and somewhat scrappy, but the Crinums were in control throughout.  The Stars, who have four Proteas in their line-up, appeared disorganised and without a plan and their coach, Marchelle Maroun, said she was disappointed.

“I didn’t expect us to under-perform,” she said.

“The players weren’t finding each other and they didn’t gel.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game.  But the Crinums have more BMT than we have – we have to learn how to win those tough matches,” said Maroun.

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Zanele Gumede of Kingdom Stars challenged by Tanya Mostert

The player of the match, 21-year-old Alicia Puren, said the team had carried out  the plans worked out for them by their coach, Burta de Kock, who has been admitted to hospital in Bloemfontein.

“We were playing for her, and to show that we were able to do what she wants us to do,” she said.

Assistant coach Dineo Lentoa, said she was proud of the way the team had responded.

“They stuck to the game plan and did exactly what we wanted them to do.”

She said she was not surprised by the margin of victory, as she had played her top players because she knew the Stars were a fast and very physical team.

The last round robin matches will be played next weekend, with teams jockeying for positions in the quarterfinals.

Images: Samual Shivambu

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