Crinums Hand Coach Ideal Gift After Conquering A Brawl Against Relentless Stings

This morning marked the end of the first weekend of Telkom Netball League action at the Heartfelt Arena in Pretoria. After a one-month break, twelve games were played in total, and all the teams undoubtedly had something to show. The day’s first match was between the Tornados and Diamonds, and the Western Cape team easily extended their winning streak to five games after defeating the Diamonds 57-38 to remain on top spot in Division Two.

Both teams were able to get into the swing of things right away despite the early morning start to the game and having to ignore the cold weather. The Diamonds were rattled by the Tornados’ defensive storm of pressure, which led to some unforced errors and a five-goal disadvantage in the first quarter. By the end of the second quarter, Tornados Wing Defense Amber Coraizin had recorded three aerial interceptions and two deflections, complicating the Diamonds’ offensive strategy. Andiswa Dlamini and Ninelle Jordaan failed to grab any rebounds despite the ball appearing frequently in the Diamonds shooting circle. Dlamini only succeeded in converting two of the seven opportunities she had in the first thirty minutes, which allowed the opposition to lead 29-16 at half-time.

The Diamonds clearly needed a mid-court substitution and some new energy as they began to build steam again in the third quarter. The Diamonds put on their best performance in the last fifteen minutes, finding space and making effective use of the ball up front. The Tornados, on the other hand, remained consistent the entire game and won the final quarter by two goals to secure a 57-38 victory.

Tornados coach Freda Kemp disclosed their remedy to success, ‘’Our goal was just to be more consistent, covert our center passes and do more percentage netball in the first weekend. I think we were better in Friday’s game than today, so we are going to work hard in making sure that we convert more than eighty percent of our center passes going forward.’’

The day was concluded by the Limpopo derby between the Baobabs and the Lilies. Despite the fact that both teams were from the same hometown, the Baobabs maintained their focus on their ultimate objective and played exciting netball. They rode the momentum throughout all four quarters to score an impressive 67-37 win and move up to second place on the Division Two log standings with eight points, while the Lilies remained at the bottom of the log after losing all six of their games thus far.

The league will resume on Friday, 9 June.

Full Results:

Tornados 57-38 Diamonds

Baobabs 67-37 Lilies

SATURDAY: Fireballs Exterminate Crinums With A One Goal Win In A Blockbuster

The Fireballs and the Crinums were both unbeaten coming into this game and locked on eight points apiece. Both teams were eager to protect their unbeaten runs and were ready for the task that lay ahead. The first quarter was a tightly contested affair, but the Crinums had the upper hand with a two-goal lead. The same intensity carried over to the second quarter; the defensive pressure from both teams resulted in a turnover battle, however, the Crinums were quick to profit from the gains that presented themselves and extend their lead by four goals at half-time.

The two sides were equally dominant in the third quarter and showed brilliant passages of play. Tshina Mdau and Bongi Msomi fed Owethu Ngubane and Nomfundo Mngomezulu with great precision in trying to keep up with the Crinums, who had good control of the ball amidst their quick movements. The Fireballs worked overtime on defense and their efforts saw them deadlocked at thirty-nine all in the last eight minutes of the game. The Crinums welcomed the strategic stoppage time that was called by coach Martha Mosoahle Samm. Martha made some wholesome changes, five to be exact, to match the strong finish she had hoped for. Crinums’ Goal Keeper Ané Retief received a warning in the dying minutes of the game, which injected some more confidence in the Fireballs’ shooting circle to slot the last goal in before the final whistle and claim a 45-44 victory.

‘’It’s all about belief. It starts with the belief, by the end of the third quarter before the fourth, I said to them, I don’t see the belief and I want to see it in your eyes before you get off this bench and, they did. We didn’t play well, we struggle with ball in hand, we are very expensive and we make bad decisions at critical stages but, when you play bad and, you can pull off a game like this, that’s a sign of a good team’’, Fireballs coach Dr Elsje Jordaan said after the game.

Another enticing game saw the Gauteng Jaguars win two back-to-back wins after beating the Stings 53-40. The Stings were looking to redeem themselves after giving away a three-quarter lead yesterday and ended up losing to the Crinums by three goals. The Stings created multiple chances and had thirty-one attempts at half-time, but were unable to capitalize on those opportunities, sitting on a sixty-eight goal percentage. However, credit must be given to the Jaguars team who were determined to go for a clinical win judging by the good decision making that was evident on court.

And lastly, Cornelia Mupenda produced another Player of the match performance to steer the Limpopo Baobabs to their third victory after beating the Eastern Cape Comets 59-32. Both teams showed plenty of energy in the first quarter and at that point no one could tell who this game would go in favor of, even though the Baobabs took an early four-goal lead. The Baobabs defense did a great job in silencing the Comets drives on attack, restricting the Eastern Cape side to scoring just six goals in the second quarter. Coach Emily Mathosa’s changes only came in the third quarter when the Baobabs were sixteen goals ahead, but all six changes that came in did not hinder with the teams’ momentum. The Comets regained their mojo in the last quarter, but not enough time was left to try and make up for their mistakes. The Baobabs will next face the Lilies in the Limpopo derby tomorrow morning to wrap up the weekend’s action.

Full Results:

Diamonds 26-49 Sunbirds

Sonoblomo 46-40 Lilies

Stars 26-54 Flames

Crinums 44-45 Fireballs

Baobabs 59-32 Comets

FRIDAY: The Heartfelt Arena was high in spirits with the return of the Telkom Netball League. Not only was the netball fraternity spoiled with four fixtures that were on the cards, but fans had the privilege of witnessing the Vitality Netball World Cup Trophy live. Several dignitaries were also in attendance, and the entertainment added to the palpable, zealous atmosphere.

The Southern Stings and the Crinums game kept everyone on the edge of their seats, in a down-to-the-wire match that ended in favor of the Crinums. The Crinums got the ground running from the first whistle to set themselves apart with seven goals. Despite taking close to three minutes to get on the scoreboard, the Free State team were able to redeem themselves and lead 29-21 at half-time. A fired-up Stings side posed challenges for the Crinums defense as they attempted to close the gap in the third quarter. Stings’ Goal Attack Nichole Taljaard moved the team within one goal in the final four minutes, and it was indeed game on. Both sides missed some crucial chances, but the Crinums decided to put an end to the battle with a 47-44 victory.

The win was indeed a perfect birthday gift for coach Martha Mosoahle Samm, who was relieved in the end, ‘’This was a nerve wrecking victory especially after having a comfortable lead in the first three quarters, we didn’t expect this. I am also happy that stuff like this happen, so that the girls know it is not going to come easy. They became casual at the end and we nearly saw something that we didn’t want to see.’’

The Eastern Cape Aloes produced a brave first quarter performance against the Gauteng Jaguars, but were unable to show the same intensity throughout the match, which saw them suffer their fourth defeat and remain winless in the league following their 53-30 loss against the five-time champions. Only one goal separated the two sides in the first quarter, with Aloes Goal Keeper Jeanie Steyn stealing the show in the defensive circle. The Jaguars’ ethos came out in the second quarter when they resorted to their fast-paced game, extending the lead by thirteen goals at half-time. Both defensive circles put in a good shift in the third quarter, but a superb conversion rate and quality play from the Gauteng side resulted in an emphatic win.

The Tornados kept their unbeaten streak intact when they defeated the Free State Sonoblomo 68-33. The Tornados defense stormed out of the blocks from the onset, helping the side lead by eight goals in the opening quarter. Sonoblomo still struggled to find their feet in the second quarter and were subsequently punished in the process by Tornados Shooting pair Lauren Adendorf and Jean-Miriam Olivier, who had no issues converting the multiple gains. A second half lackluster performance from the Free state side made it impossible for them to close the gap, allowing the Tornados to have more chances with the ball and walk away victorious.

In the other Division Two match, the Kingdom Queens snuck in a last-minute 42-40 victory against the Limpopo Lilies in a game that was decided in the final two minutes. This was the Queens’ second win in the competition, having lost three of their matches during Power Week in April. Meanwhile, the Lilies will draw some positives from this game as they continue to search for that elusive first win.

Jaguars 53-40 Stings

Tornados 68-33 Sonoblomo

Queens 42-40 Lilies

Jaguars 53-30 Aloes

Stings 47-44 Crinums

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