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Defending champs W Cape downed but still in final

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Gauteng brought Western Cape’s unbeaten run to an end on the fourth day of the SPAR National Netball Championships at Hoy Park on Thursday as they beat the defending champions 46-44.

It was a tight match from start to finish. Western Cape were 26-25 ahead at halftime.

Gauteng moved into the lead in the third quarter and at one stage were three goals ahead. The defenders on both sides fought like tigers, intercepting and overturning balls. At the end of the third quarter, Gauteng led 35-34.

It was Western Cape’s first defeat. Gauteng, who have won five and drawn one of their matches, top the log with 11 points. Western Cape are second with 10. They will meet in Saturday’s final.

Coach Jenny van Dyk was very happy with the result. ‘It wasn’t actually about winning this match, but I am very pleased we did,’ she said.

‘What we needed to do was to see what they do and how they do it. I’m glad it was such a tight contest and that it was a struggle all the way to the end. Neither side will be complacent going into the final on Saturday.’

Free State shrugged off a 50-37 loss to Gauteng on Thursday to beat North West 35-28 in their afternoon match. It was an important match for both teams – Free State had lost two matches and North West had lost one and drawn one.

Free State got an early lead and were 13-5 ahead after the first quarter. That eight-goal cushion proved to be vital, as neither side was able to take control of the match after that. The defenders on both teams were in good form, and the shooters all struggled to get the ball through the hoop. North West narrowly won the second and third quarters, by one goal each, and Free State won the last quarter 7-6.

‘We knew we’re not going to reach the final, but we were determined that we should not be defined by our loss to Gauteng this morning,’ said Free State captain Tanya Mostert. ‘We wanted to show what we are made of.’

‘It was a very tough match and the sun was also a factor. I think that’s one of the reasons it was such a low-scoring match. But the sun affects both teams, so we can’t use that as an excuse for not scoring more,’ she said.

In other matches played on Thursday, Eastern Cape beat Northern Cape 46-42; Western Cape beat KwaZulu-Natal 60-23; KwaZulu-Natal beat Northern Cape 60-37 and Mpumalanga beat Eastern Cape 35-29.

In the picture Abeline Olivier of Western Cape (left) and Akosua Mensah of Gauteng in action. Picture courtesy of Reg Caldecott
 
DAY FOUR RESULTS

Senior Section A
E Cape 46 N Cape 42; North West 43 Mpumalanga 31; W Cape 60 KZN 23; Gauteng 50 Free State 37; KZN 60 N Cape 37; Free State 35 North West 28; Gauteng 46 W Cape 44; Mpumalanga 35 E Cape 29

Senior Section B
Limpopo 44 Royal Bafokeng 31; Mpumalanga 48 SANDF 36; KZN B1 78 N Cape 20; W Cape 43 Gauteng 37; Limpopo 78 SANDF 22; Royal Bafokeng 50 -N Cape 20; W Cape 64 Mpumalanga 25; KZN B1 43 Gauteng 29

Under-21 Section A
W Cape 40 E Cape 34; Free State 50 Limpopo 28; Gauteng 55 KZN 40; North West 43 W Cape 28

Under 21 Section B
North West 32 Royal Bafokeng 26; N Cape 1 42 N Cape 2 24; W Cape 43 Mpumalanga 33; KZN 43 Free State 31; Limpopo 45 North West 33; W Cape 42 Free State 31; KZN B 60 Mpumalanga 45


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