central courting trouble

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

The second day of the Netball National Championships held at the University of Pretoria unfolded pretty much as expected, as underachieving Gauteng Central lost their second straight match, and Free State clinched its second win of the tournament.

Central lost their opening match against Free State on Monday, and yesterday they seemed to have got their house in order and led 8-12 at the end of the first quarter.

But Professor Chipeya's side failed to capitalise on this early lead, and had allowed Boland back into the match by the end of the third quarter. From then onwards, they tried to chase down the match, but Boland continued to score freely.

When Central forwards Tsakane Mbewe and Mary Ngwenya eventually started to use the chances created in the final quarter, it was too late, and the match ended at 43-38.

Compared to the drama of the first day, the second day was subdued. Monday saw the demise of the big guns - defending champions Gauteng North and last year's runners-up North West South - at the hands of Griqualand West.

The Griquas went on to garner their third straight win yesterday against Gauteng West, beating them 47-39.

The Northern Cape is playing in the premier A-section of this tournament for the first time this year, and these performances would have sent a warning to those teams that are traditionally considered favourites.

It is clear that players from Northern Cape have not come to Tshwane merely to make up the numbers.