DURBAN - Free State's hopes of going one better than last year at the Spar Netball National Championships have gone up in smoke.
Finalists in 2016, the Free Staters were hoping to capture the title this time around. But after losing their second match in a row in the round robin phase on Thursday, their campaign is essentially over. The 50-37 hiding against the Northern-region side came a day after they went down 48-39 to last year’s champions, the Western Cape, to take them completely out of the race for a top two finish in Section A,.
Tanya Mostert, who’s the Free State captain, said she was disappointed that her side couldn’t produce the similar type of performance they produced last year, adding that they should have done better as a unit.
“We were hoping to be in the final again this year,” Mostert said. “Probably finish first or second but it was just not to be for us. We just needed to want it a bit more because the truth is, other teams which are here as well, have that same feeling too. They want it as well.
“The fact that we didn’t have some of our key players here affected us a bit. That should not be an excuse, though. We just didn’t compete as hard enough as other teams did in the tournament (and that’s why they’re out).”
Asked where she thought they lost it in their match against Gauteng, Mostert said: “Gauteng just dominated us in the third quarter. Their defence was just amazing to play against and I believe that’s (where they lost it)”
“It’s not the kind of result we were looking for,” Mostert added. “Things just didn’t go our way in both our matches (against Gauteng and the Western Cape respectively). However, this is just part of the game. Things don’t always turn out the way you hope that they would for you.”
Defending champions Western Province and Gauteng will contest the final on Saturday.