Sunbirds edge diamonds in opening netball match

Fireballs continue TNL hot streak with win over Crinums

Golden Fireballs Co Captain Bongiwe Msomi with Free State Crinums Sne Mdletshe
Golden Fireballs Co Captain Bongiwe Msomi with Free State Crinums Sne Mdletshe
Image: Thuligraphy Images

The Gauteng Fireballs made it two wins in two games yesterday after beating the Free State Crinums 39-34. Both teams went into this game high on confidence after their opening game victories and it was quite evident in the first quarter when the score was 9-all.

Fireballs goalkeeper Juzelri Garbers was forced off the field three minutes into the game and was replaced by Melanie de Lange but that did not hinder the Fireballs as they went into the halftime break with a 21-18 lead.

The Gauteng side gave a number of balls away in the shooting circle in the beginning of the third quarter but Tshinakaho Mdau’s intercepts, Talja Venter’s accurate shooting and Bongiwe Msomi’s player-of-the-match performance contributed immensely to the team’s overall success.

Fireballs coach Dumisani Chauke said it was vital for the team to correct their mistakes.  “We watched ourselves and we picked up on the stuff we can improve on. Today we focused on making sure that we start and finish strong, taking each centre pass at a time and each quarter at a time, which will give us the end result,” she said.

Crinums coach Burta de Kock spoke about how her side needs to move on from this defeat: “This is the beginning of the marathon, so we will go home and go back to the drawing board. I just think that the players need to explore netball, must capitalise on each and every ball, protect the ball and at the end of the day they need to enjoy and embrace netball.”

In Division B, the Mpumalanga Sunbirds and the Northern Cape Diamonds got their 2020 TNL campaign under way. It was a tightly contested match but the Sunbirds came out with a 35-30 win. Last year the Mpumalanga team only won three of their eight matches and the Diamonds lost all their games. The Sunbirds and the Diamonds will both be in action again this afternoon against the Aloes and Baobabs respectively.

Meanwhile, it was another bad day at the office for the North West Flames as they suffered their second successive defeat, a 27-39 loss against the Western Cape Stings. 

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