The Southern Cape Stings came from behind to beat the Free State Crinums 57-53 in their Telkom Netball League match on Sunday in a thrilling match that had the spectators on their feet. The Stings won the first quarter 14-12, but had to fight hard, as the Crinums were constantly snapping at their heels. The Stings won the second quarter 15-13 to lead 29-25 at halftime.

The Crinums stormed back in the third quarter, outscoring the Stings by 20 goals to 11 and moved into the lead (45-40). Stings coach Annelie Lucas made sweeping changes to her team at halftime, after starting with some of her bench players.  Claudia van den Berg scored 14 goals and Lefebre Rademan six for the Crinums.

But the match swung back to the Stings in the final, as Claudia Jarrard scored 11 goals and Nicole Taljaard six. In the last five minutes, goals went with the centre pass but the Stings had the edge and it was the Crinums who ended disappointed.

The pace was fast and there were numerous intercepts on both sides. 

“The Crinums are a dangerous team and you can’t give them the slightest chance,” said Lucas.

“We played according to our plan, and I am very happy to have won.  They are always hard to read,”

“We started too slow,” said Crinums coach Burta de Kock.

“You can’t rely on winning in the third quarter – you have to play all the way through.”

The North West Flames thumped the Gauteng Golden Fireballs 55-32 after leading 27-13 at halftime.

The Fireballs won the first quarter 8-7 before the Flames stepped up a level to outplay them in the second quarter.  Goal shooter Chantelle Louw scored eight goals and goal attack Elsunet du Plessis eight, while the Fireballs shooters could only muster five goals.

The Fireballs made something of a comeback in the third quarter, which the two teams shared 10-all, but it was too little, too late.  They ran out of steam in the final quarter, with the Flames outscoring them 18-9.

“I started with my bench players, to give them some experience of playing under pressure,” said Flames coach Elsje Jordaan.

“From the second quarter, I went back to the known combinations.  I am very pleased with the result, but we are still making too many unforced errors.  We can’t afford lapses of concentration.”

“People always underestimate us and play their weaker players and then have to bring on their top players,” said Fireballs coach Jenni-lee Delport.

“We started brilliantly, but in the second quarter, we lost patience and intensity.  We need more consistency. I am also not happy with the shooters’ shooting averages.”

A brilliant second quarter by Limpopo Baobabs goal shooter Grace Lechaba ensured a comprehensive 57-47 victory for the Baobabs over the Northern Cape Diamonds. 

The Diamonds started well and were in the lead for much of the first quarter before the Diamonds overtook them, narrowly winning the quarter by 12 goals to 11.

In the second quarter, Lechaba scored 17 goals from 17 attempts while goal attack Rumandi Potgieter succeeded with three from four to put the Stars 32-20 ahead at halftime – a goal difference which proved to be too much for the Diamonds to overtake. 

The Diamonds remained determined and won the third quarter 15-10, but the damage had been done.  The Baobabs won the last quarter 12-10.

“I had watched some of the Diamonds’ other games, and we took advantage of their weaknesses,” said Baobabs coach Anna Ledwaba.

“I told them to keep pushing forward and to put the Diamonds under pressure,” she said.

Diamonds coach Elfrieda Luyt said part of her team’s problem was that the shooters were taking too long in the circle.

“The combinations are beginning to work together, but our centre lives a long way from Kimberley and can’t practice with us during the week, which makes things a bit difficult,” said Luyt.

In an exhibition match, Zimbabwe had a good workout as part of their preparations for the Netball World Cup in July when they played the President’s Stars team of male netballers.  Zimbabwe managed to keep pace with their opponents in the first quarter, trailing by just two goals (16-14). But the men used their height and speed to good effect and by halftime were 40-19 ahead.  The Stars continued to pile on the pressure and the goals and won the match 82-47.

PRETORIA  May 19

NETBALL RESULTS

 Results of Telkom Netball League matches played at the Pretoria University Sports Centre on Sunday

Division One

North West Flames 55 (27) Gauteng Golden Fireballs 32 (13)

Southern Cape Stings 57 (29) Free State Crinums 53 (25)

Division Two

Kingdom Stars 57 (32) Northern Cape Diamonds 47 (20)

Exhibition match

President’s Stars (male) 82 (40) Zimbabwe 47 (19)

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