JOHANNESBURG - The Proteas beat the England Roses for the first time since 2013 in their final Quad Series match in Invercargill, New Zealand on Sunday.
The South Africans won the match 54-51 for their maiden victory in the second year of the series. The win was a culmination of a promising run in which they came painstakingly close to beating respective world number-one and two Australia and New Zealand.
On Thursday they came within six points of beating world champions Australia, their best performance against them since 1967. Earlier in the week they narrowlylost 63-56 to the New Zealand Silver Ferns . Sunday's victory was the Proteas’ biggest win over England since 1997.
“It feels fabulous to have beaten one of the world’s top three,” said South African captain Bongi Msomi. “We have been working very hard and we knew we were going to perform well here.
"Having Norma Plummer (former Australian mentor) as our coach has given us confidence and we are going from strength to strength.”
The South Africans held a slender two-point after the first quarter in a tit-for-tat battle. England won the second quarter to level the score 26-26.
Lenize Potgieter was at the top of her game, sinking 43 of her 45 shots with goal attack Maryka Holtzhausen Boeing enjoying a 73 percent success.
Potgieter landed three successive goals shortly after the break as South Africa took a five-point lead just five minutes into the quarter.
England clawed their way back to reduce the deficit to two points but the Proteas returned the advantage to five.
South Africa frustrated England in their fight back effort with Potgieter planting the decisive blow with a goal seconds from time.
Gritty centre Erin Burger, who was named player of the match, said the victory is a good boost they prepare for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia.
“We can go back and start preparing for the next stage of the Quad Series and for the Commonwealth Games next year with renewed confidence,” Burger said. “I think we have shown that we can compete with the very best.”