Gauteng North Dominate While Boland Upset Champions

Gauteng North recorded the biggest victory of the 2014 Spar National Championships at the Bellville Velodrome on Tuesday, when they beat Gauteng West by a massive 89-16.  Earlier in the day, Gauteng North showed they were the team to watch this year when they beat Nelson Mandela Bay 71-31.  During the match against Gauteng West, coach Jenny Van Dyk had fun mixing and matching her players in different combinations.

With an insurmountable lead, she experimented, playing goal defence Amanda Strydom at centre and Erin Burger at goal attack, until Burger sustained an ankle injury and was replaced by fellow Protea Melissa Myburgh.  “It is important to mix things up from time to time.  The players need to be able to think on their feet and make decisions,” said Van Dyk.  On the other hand, defending champions Mangaung Metro had a bad day at the office.

They had to come from behind to beat Gauteng West 65-44, after trailing 26-27 at halftime, and then lost 37-42 to Boland in their later match.  “We made some silly mistakes and lost too many balls.  But we have many more games to play and one loss doesn’t mean the end,” admitted Mangaung captain Lauren-Lee Christians.  Boland captain Leanie Kleynhans-Cornelissen said their victory was the result of hard work, “We have been building our squad for a number of years, and we are now reaping the benefits.  We knew we would have to work hard and that the team that worked hardest would win,” she said.

Earlier in the day, Boland beat Buffalo City 54-41.  Dr Kenneth Kaunda (North West South) also had a good day, beating Umgungundlovu 56-35 in the morning and then beating Nelson Mandela Bay 43-28.  In their earlier match, they kept the pressure up throughout, increasing their lead in every quarter.

In the third quarter, they turned the screws, outscoring Umgungundlovu by 18 goals to six and 14 goals to nine in the final quarter.  Against the Eastern Cape team, Boland got an early lead, and were 21-13 ahead at half-time.  Once again, it was in the third quarter that they forged ahead, with 16 goals to five.  However, Nelson Mandela Bay came back strongly in the last 15 minutes, scoring 10 goals to Boland’s six.

Coach Dorette Badenhorst said while she was happy with the results, she knew that there was still a lot of work to do, “We have a very young team, and they need to learn to work as a team, take responsibility on court, and trust one another.   They need to keep the ball in hand more consistently and avoid sloppy passes.  They also sometimes make bad decisions, and we need to work on that.”

In the other match on Tuesday, Western Province beat Frances Baard (Griqualand West) 53-27.

Photo: Melissa Myburgh of Gauteng North in action against Gauteng West during day 2 of the Spar National Netball Championships at Bellville Velodrome on August 12, 2014 in Cape Town.
Photo credit: Reg Caldecott