The Gauteng Jaguars came from behind to beat the Southern Stings by 46 goals to 42 in their first division semi-final match at the Brutal Fruit Netball Premier league on Saturday. It was a thrilling match that kept the spectators glued to their seats as fortunes went from side to side. The Stings, who beat the Jaguars in their first round match earlier in the tournament, roared out of the starting blocks and were 13-9 ahead after the first quarter.
They retained the lead for the first 12 minutes of the second quarter, before the Jaguars drew level. The lead changed hands several times and the first half ended with the teams tied on 22-all. The Jaguars won the third quarter, but the Stings came storming back in the final 15 minutes.
With six minutes left in the match, they drew level and then passed the Jaguars. The defenders on both sides were superb, achieving audacious intercepts and turnovers. With less than two minutes to go, the Jaguars took the lead again, and this time managed to keep it until the final whistle.
Both sides showed the effect of the pressure, with some wild passes resulting in lost balls, but Jaguars goalshooter Lenize Potgieter and goal attack Melissa Myburgh kept their heads and remained calm until the end. Overall the Stings had a better day in the circle shooting at 84% netting 42 of their 50 attempts, but despite landing just 74 of their 62 attempts, the Jaguars ability to feed their shooters that proved the difference. Jaguars coach Jenny Van Dyk says: ‘I knew that it would be tough, and I am glad to have had such a hard semi-final. Congratulations to the Stings – they played a fantastic game. I was a bit worried after the first quarter – we weren’t executing our game plans properly. So we had a good talk during the break, and things went better after that. Our captain and normal centre Erin Burger is injured – she’ll be out for about four weeks with an ankle injury – and you could see what a difference it made not to have her. Now I can go and think about the final tomorrow.’
Stings supemo Marlene Wagner says: ‘Unnecessary passing errors cost us the game. But I was very proud of the team. The attacking and defensive play on both sides was outstanding, and I am very pleased that our goal attack, Rochelle Lawson, was named player of the match. I am also very pleased that we gave the spectators something to cheer about.’ For the Jaguars Proteas ace was their top scorer landing 19 of her 25 attempts for an average of 76% while Melandi Pretorius shot an impressive 84% average netting 28 of her 33 attempts.
Photo by: Christiaan Kotze/SASPA