CAPE TOWN - The SPAR Proteas recorded their third successive win over Uganda in the SPAR Challenge Tri-Nations netball tournament at the Cape Town International Conference Centre on Sunday.
The South Africans beat their African rivals 43-36 after leading 20-18 at halftime.
Uganda, who beat Namibia 59-30 earlier in the day, started well and were just two goals behind after the first quarter, before sharing the second quarter 9-9.
It was a hard-fought game, with defenders on both teams succeeding in turning over the ball and preventing the shooters from scoring. Her superb performance at goal defence earned Monique Reyneke her second most valued player award.
Proteas captain Bongi Msomi (wing attack) and centre Izette Griesel controlled the centre court well, ensuring the ball moved to the circle as quickly as possible. The pace was fast and furious, with both sides guilty of some wild passes.
The Proteas began to exert their authority in the third quarter and gradually pulled away from the She-Cranes. They outscored them 13-9 in the third quarter, but Uganda came back in the final quarter, which they lost 10-9.
“We knew Uganda would come in hard against us, because this was a very important game,” said Proteas coach Dorette Badenhorst.
“They put a lot of pressure on us – especially the young players in the circles. But the more established players gave the newer players the backing they needed, and I am very pleased with the way the team is working together.”
Ugandan captain Stella Oyella said the She-Cranes had put up a good fight and were learning every time they played against South Africa.
“We are very much a team – our motto is ‘we are the She-Cranes, we are one,” said Oyella.
In the curtain raiser match, the SPAR Baby Proteas scored their first win over the President’s XII, beating them 48-41, after trailing 25-22 at halftime.
They play them again on Monday at 4pm, as a curtain raiser to the match between the Proteas and Namibia at 6pm.