The Crinums displayed an authoritative second half performance against the Southern Stings and won the game 52-42. The Free State Crinums stumbled out of the blocks in the beginning of the game, failing to add to the only goal that they had scored at the time. The Stings found their rhythm as soon as the match got underway and started to set themselves apart. The Crinums started picking up momentum and showcased their defensive expertise, closing the gap to just one goal.
The stage was set for a captivating second quarter and the Crinums wasted no time in taking the lead for the first time. The Crinums continued to congest the mid-court, preventing the ball from the entering the Stings’ goal third. Coach Nicolene Martin then made some changes, moving Nerine Koopman to Centre and introducing Adri Kannemeyer on Wing Attack. The changes proved profitable, helping the Stings trail by one goal at half-time.
The Stings were cursed with poor ball placement in the third quarter, giving the Crinums a platform to shine with intercepts. Crinums shooting pair of Lefebre Rademan and Rolene Streutker, shared the responsibilities very well in the circle and converted at every chance, handing the Free State team a seven-goal advantage. The Crinums’ peerless fourth quarter performance made it impossible for the Stings to restore parity, as they continued to stretch their lead in order to maintain their top position on the Division One log.
In Division Two, the Sunbirds and the Tornados brought the same intensity at the start of the game and were quite evenly matched in their efforts. The Sunbirds had already claimed five intercepts in the first quarter but were unable to convert all the gains that presented themselves and were only leading by just one goal in the opening stanza. Sunbirds Goal Keeper Palesa Mbukwana stood out in second quarter with her cheeky intercepts and coach Freda Kemp called for strategic stoppage when the Tornados were four goals behind. The ted talk didn’t grind out an improvement from the Western Cape team, who continued to have no clear drives and struggled to find each other.
Kemp made two defensive changes in the third quarter in an attempt to overturn a five-goal deficit. The Tornados applied relentless pressure, forcing errant passes and missed shots from the Sunbirds. It was now Thembi Mdluli’s turn to call her team out for the lack of discipline which allowed the Tornados to close the gap to just two goals, three minutes before the end of the championship quarter. Both coaches opted to make mid-court changes in the final quarter, to ramp up the pressure. The Tornados’ composure on attack saw them take a one goal lead with just two minutes remaining on the clock. Sunbirds shooters Atacia Mbuyane and Zanneke Ras both fumbled an opportunity to salvage a draw in the final seconds of the match. Liandré Schoeman was instrumental for handing the Tornados a 40-39 win and was named the Player of the Match for shooting thirty-nine of the forty goals.
The Limpopo teams also faced off this afternoon, once again the Baobabs secured another decisive 57-35 win against the Lilies. The Lilies knew already in the first quarter, the mammoth task that lay ahead when they were trailing by fourteen goals. A new shooting combination produced the goods for the Lilies, winning the third quarter 15-11, but their valiant effort in the latter stages of the match was too little, too late.
Comets 40-48 Sonoblomo
Diamonds 41-50 Queens
Flames 45-54 Jaguars
Lilies 35-57 Baobabs
Crinums 52-42 Stings
Sunbirds 39-40 Tornados
Flames’ Spark Dies Down Against Jaguars Following A Substantive Showing
The Flames will certainly draw more positives from their tough encounter against the Jaguars despite losing 54-45. The Jaguars were quick to kick into gear and their defense was potent, which saw the Flames only managing to slot in just three goals halfway through the first quarter. Flames Goal Attack Caitlin Du Plessis rose to the challenge and showed up by taking most of the shots to help her team stay within touching distance. Jomari Lubbe’s presence in the second quarter was troublesome for the Jaguars in the mid-court, evoking some unforced errors from the Jaguars and twelve turnover balls. However, the Flames gave away two crucial balls and missed out on an opportunity to move within one goal, giving the Jaguars a four-goal lead at half-time.
The introduction of Kamogelo Maseko on Wing Attack alongside Izette Griesel on Centre in the third quarter yielded precision feeds inside the Jaguars shooting circle and the Flames started becoming erratic on attack, inviting some late pressure and allowing the Jaguars to extend their lead by seven goals. The Flames dimmed their chances of closing the gap in the last quarter following a couple of wayward balls and missed shots under the post. On the opposite end, Nonsikelelo Mazibuko was the outstanding feature in the Jaguars’ shooting circle, boasting a ninety-goal percentage and only missed four goals throughout the match, subsequently picking up the Player of the Match award.
Jaguars coach Rozanne Matthyse wants her team to be more disciplined and consistent on court, ‘’I’m sure the girls and the whole team are not proud of our performance. I felt that keeping ball possession was not in our favor and we gave them a lot of confidence at times. I think consistency is something that we have been talking about every week; somewhere I feel it needs to kick in if you want to play in the semis or finals, that’s something that should come very easy for you but it is something that we still working on.’’
In Division Two, Sonoblomo bagged their third consecutive victory against the Comets earlier this morning. The first half of the match was a neck-and-neck contest, with neither team able to pull away as both teams were stubborn on defense and dutifully firm in converting their attempts. Sonoblomo went on to boss proceedings defensively, forcing some poor decision-making from the Comets and took a seven-goal lead in the third quarter. The Comets showed their mettle in the final quarter and challenged every single ball in an attempt to stage a comeback while the clock ran down. Sonoblomo tactfully held onto their lead and the Comets just couldn’t narrow the gap despite their efforts, suffering a 40-48 defeat.
Meanwhile, the Diamonds soared to a commanding victory after beating the Kingdom Queens 50-41. This was a much-needed victory for the Northern Cape side, who have had an insubstantial start to the Power Week after losing their last two games. The Queens are yet to register a victory since the resumption of the league and will look to capitalize on their rest day tomorrow, so they can come back stronger in their next fixture against the Comets on Tuesday.
Comets 40-48 Sonoblomo
Diamonds 41-50 Queens
Flames 45-54 Jaguars
Monday (26/06/2023) Fixtures
08:00|Div.2|Comets vs Diamonds
10:00|Div.2|Baobabs vs Tornados
12:00|Div.1|Flames vs Crinums
14:00|Div.2|Sonoblomo vs Sunbirds
16:00|Div.1|Stars vs Fireballs
18:00|Div.1|Aloes vs Stings