Free State miss out on an­other fi­nal ap­pear­ance

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - MO­HAU RA­MASHIDJA

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 here yes­ter­day, their cam­paign is essen­tially. The 50-37 hid­ing against the North­ern-re­gion side came a day af­ter they went down 48-39 score­line 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 to­mor­row.

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