SA salvage some pride with a convincing win over England
South Africa salvaged some pride with a convincing 54/48 win over England in the third and final match of the Spar Challenge International Netball Series at the Bellville Velodrome in Cape Town on Sunday.
The Netball Proteas went into this match in danger of suffering the embarrassment of being whitewashed at home‚ but they recovered in style from two successive defeats to England to end the series on a high note.
The England Roses will return home as 2-1 series winners but SA coach Dorette Badenhorst will take positives going into their next assignment in the Netball Nations Cup against Jamaica‚ New Zealand and hosts England next month in Birmingham.
Badenhorst said they did not keep possession and lacked cohesion in the two defeats‚ but she was happy that inexperienced Lefebre Rademan and Monique Reyneke got opportunities against strong opposition.
The SA coach will also be happy that defender Phumza Maweni is back to full fitness and captain Bongi Msomi‚ Shadine van der Merwe‚ Khanyisa Chawane‚ Lenize Potgieter and Zanele Vimbela got valuable minutes on the court.
They were tested to their limits by this industrious England side led by Natalie Haythornthwaite‚ which completely dominated the opening two matches as wrapped up the series.
With this victory SA managed their second win over England after six matches this year and they will travel to the Netball Nations Cup in January with confidence that they can beat some of these top-ranked sides.
At the end of the series SA’s Shadine van der Merwe and Lenize Potgieter were named most valuable player and accurate shooter of the tournament respectively while England’s Stacey Francis was named the best defender. England captain Natalie Haythornthwaite was named the centre play player of the tournament.
SA started the match with purpose as Ine-Mari Venter and Lenize Potgieter put the England defence under pressure and they led by six goals after eleven minutes.
At the end of first quarter SA enjoyed a six-goal lead (16-10) after creating most of the chances‚ but England did not make it any easier through attacks from Sophie Drakeford-Lewis and George Fisher.
The Proteas went to the half time break leading by six goals (27-21) following a period of sustained pressure.
England fought back and leveled the score at 35-35 ten minutes after the half time break but SA managed to pull away and they went to the last quarter leading by five goals (41-36).
In the last quarter SA continued to lead and they ultimately pulled off this morale-boosting win where they narrowly avoided an embarrassing whitewash at home.