LIVERPOOL – South Africa stumbled over the final hurdle of an impressive run at the Netball World Cup with a 58-41 defeat to the England Roses in their bronze-medal match in Liverpool on Sunday.
The Proteas nevertheless achieved their second-best result in 24 years, bowing out of the global showpiece in fourth place overall. They made a promising run for silverware after reaching the semi-final where they lost to 11-time champions Australia by just two points.
It was a case of deja vu with the Proteas slow to get out of the blocks only to leave themselves a mountain to climb in the second half.
The sides went into the second quarter with only two points separating them, but England held the advantage throughout all four quarters.
They were clinical building scoreboard pressure as they opened daylight on the South Africans struggling to make inroads.
England stretched their lead to seven goals going into the half-time break and the Proteas needed to produce another resurgent performance for a chance at upsetting the hosts.
But the Roses’ advantage doubled in the third quarter with South Africa losing grip of the game with the home side lifting the world number three side.
England won the fourth and final quarter by two goals for a dominant display to walk away with bronze as consolation.