Johannesburg – Spar Proteas head coach Elize Kotze beamed from ear to ear as she watched some of her senior players shine in the thrilling Netball Cup match between the Golden Fireballs and the log-topping Jaguars on Sunday.
The Fireballs won the hard-fought match 47-42.
In the first round, the Jaguars dominated the Fireballs, beating them 54-39.
Towards the end of the first quarter, the Fireballs suffered a blow when their captain, goal defence Amanda Mynhardt, collided heavily with her goal attack, Lisa-Marie Wiese, who suffered a blow on her cheekbone and had to leave the court.
The versatile Erin Burger moved to goal attack, while fellow-Protea Thuli Qegu replaced her at centre.
A few minutes later, the charismatic Mynhardt had to leave for some treatment, but was able to return in the second quarter.
Five minutes into the third quarter, the Fireballs began creeping ahead. Play swept from one end to the other, with both sides turning the ball over.
All four shooters had good games, but Chrisna van Zyl was sublime.
The Fireballs were 37-32 ahead going into the final quarter and were unable to relax until the last few minutes of the game as the Jaguars continued to threaten.
Fireballs coach Martha Mosoahle-Samm was very happy with her team’s performance.
“I knew we could do it, and we believe that we can now go all the way and win the cup,” she said.
Jaguars coach Jenny van Dyk was philosophical about the loss.
“At least I know now which combinations work, and which don’t,” she said.
“It was important for me to bring Vanes-Mari du Toit and Lindie Lombard back into the game slowly.They are both recovering from serious injuries, but they are very important for us.
“I was pleased with both of them today. We have qualified for the semi-finals, which was our first objective.
“We don’t mind who we face in the semis, because we can beat any of them.” – Sapa