Izette Griesel in action for South Africa against England in January. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

BRISBANE - Team South Africa's netballers gave the Rainbow Nation something to cheer about after they thrashed Barbados 85-25 in a Pool A match at the Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast on Wednesday morning.

The South Africans dominated from the start, and led 20-5 by the end of the first quarter, with a 44-9 lead at halftime. By three-quarter time, the match was a formality with SA holding a convincing 63-20 lead.

The key was in the accurate shooting with Ine-Mari Venter (34 from 35) and Sigrid Burger (33 from 35) coming to the party to set up the victory. The massive win followed SA's 92-28 annihilation of Fiji.

However, despite beating Northern Ireland 49-35, earlier defeats at the hands of netball powerhouse Australia (60-38) and Jamaica (57-46) dented the medal chances for the girls in green, who will now go into the positional playoff phase.

Meanwhile,  SA's United States-based divers Micaela Bouter and Nicole Gillis finished sixth with a total points tally of 238.80 in the women’s synchronised 3m springboard final on Day seven.

The gold medal was won by Australia, ahead of England. South Africa's best-scoring dive was their fifth and last when they performed an inward two-and-a-half somersaults tuck, which earned them 56.70 points and lifted them to sixth.

In shooting, Team SA's participants found the going tough on the first day of the Queen's Prize Individual final, with Petrus Haasbroek and Jacobus du Toit, placing 11th and 21st respectively.

SA's badminton combination of Michelle Butler-Emmett and Elmé de Villiers had more luck when they beat the Falkland Islands pair of Zoe Morris and Cheryl March in straight sets. In a women’s doubles round of 32 matches they won 21-3 21-5. It was all done and dusted in just 15 minutes – with the average rally only lasting three seconds.

In the badminton mixed doubles, round of 32, South Africa's Cameron Coetzer and Butler-Emmett went down 2-0 to Canadians Krysten Tsai and Nyl Yakura. The score was 21-16 21-15 in a 22-minute scrap.

There was also no joy in the men's doubles round of 32 when Cameron Coetzer and Prakash Vijayanath went down 2-1 to Ghana’s Daniel Sam and Emmanuel Donkor. They lost the first 23-21 but bounced back to win the second 26-24 before going down 23-21 in a 50-minute tie

In bowls, Colleen Piketh and Nicolene Neal kept their unbeaten record intact as they saw off the challenge of Wales to book their place in the women's bowls quarterfinals, at the Commonwealth Games at Australia's Gold Coast on Wednesday.

Piketh (skip) and Neal (lead) outplayed the Wales side 23-17 to add to the nail-biting 19-17 win over India that they recorded earlier in the day.

Piketh is no stranger to Commonwealth medals, having won gold with the national four team at the 2014 Commonwealth showpiece, as well as having collected bronze in the singles competition earlier in this year's tournament.

Neal was a part of the fours' team that lost in the final earlier in the week, going down to world champions and hosts, Australia. The South Africans will be up against England in quarterfinal action on Thursday

African News Agency (ANA)

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