The North West Flames put an end to any hope the Golden Fireballs had of winning a match in the Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League with a crushing 51-35 victory on Saturday night. The loss meant the winless Fireballs ended at the bottom of the first division and will have to play the winner of the second division in a promotion/relegation match next weekend. For the Flames, the victory meant they finished third on the log – one up from their position last year.
The Fireballs started off well, and for a short time, were in the lead. But the nine unanswered goals in quick succession put the Flames 14-6 ahead at the end of the quarter. They led 25-14 at half-time, and extended their lead with every quarter.
Although the Fireballs were badly beaten, they played much better than they had the previous night, when they were outclassed by the Southern Stings. Fireballs Goalshooter Tsakane Mbewe had a particularly good game, with her accurate shooting and her dominant presence in the circle, but she was also up against a very good goalkeeper in Kifiloe Tsotetsi. She and Zandre Kruger were very effective in the circle, with turnovers and rebounds.
Flames goalshooter Sigi Burger, cousin of Springbok rugby player Schalk Burger, has grown with every match she had played, and was a deserved winner of the player of match award. Flames coach Dorette Badenhorst said she was happy that her team had once again played as a team instead of focussing on their individual play: ‘We had a long meeting after we lost to the Jaguars last night, and I told them it’s not about individuals, it’s all about the team. Tonight they were back to the team that they can be. There is great trust within the team and we believe we can beat the Jaguars when we meet them in the play-offs next week.’