Defending champions, the Gauteng Jaguars, continued to show they are the team to beat in the Telkom Netball League at the Pretoria University Sports Centre on Friday. They defeated the Free State Crinums 52-46, despite a determined second half fight-back from the Free State team. The Jaguars were 29-19 ahead at halftime.
The Crinums started well and were 15-11 ahead at the end of the first quarter, but the Jaguars stormed back in the second quarter. Their goalkeeper Jezelri Garbers and goal defence Akosua Mensah combined well to restrict the Crinums in the circle, limiting them to just five goals, while the Jaguars, spearheaded by veteran Chrisna van Zyl, and scored 18.
The Crinums started their comeback in the third quarter winning it by three goals (16-13) but it was in the final quarter that they threatened to upset the Jaguars’ applecart. At one stage they were just two goals adrift (44-42) and appeared to be heading for victory. However, the Jaguars showed their mettle and fought them off, scoring a flurry of goals to make some space between them.
The Crinums won the quarter 11-10, but the damage was done in the second quarter.
Jaguars coach Jenny Van Dyk said she was trying a new defensive combination and had a brand new wing attack in Jani Bergh, and the team had needed to settle in the first quarter.
“They came together in the second quarter and I was very proud of the way they played.
“You can never relax when you play the Crinums. They don’t have an off button. “Luckily, we have a fast forward button, “she said.
“We still have a lot we can improve on, and next week will be all about preparing for the semis and the final.”
Earlier, Limpopo Baobabs goalshooter Tylana Williamson helped her team win the battle of the Division Two tail-enders when they beat the Northern Cape Diamonds 75-51, after leading 39-24 at halftime. After seven matches, the Diamonds have yet to win a match, while the Baobabs have won three.
The Diamonds started fairly well and led for a short time, but it was not long before the Baobabs began to show who was boss. They led 15-11 after the first quarter but stretched their lead to 15 goals in the second quarter, scoring an admirable 24 goals. Goalshooter Tylana Williamson had her shooting boots on and scored 20 of those goals, from 20 attempts, while goal attack Kgothatso Mofomme scored four from five.
Things calmed down somewhat in the third quarter, with the Baobabs scoring 18 goals to 12 for the Diamonds. The Diamonds did a bit better in the final quarter, losing it 18-15.
Williamson finished the match with 65 goals from 72 attempts.