Tsh­wane look­ing to de­fend their ti­tle

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

DE­FEND­ING cham­pi­ons Tsh­wane will meet Man­gaung Metro in the fi­nal of the SPAR na­tional net­ball cham­pi­onships to­day.

The bat­tle for places in the fi­nal came down to a thrilling three-horse race with Dr Ken­neth Kaunda (North West) the un­lucky losers.

The three teams each fin­ished the round robin sec­tion on 16 points and the fi­nal­ists were de­cided on goal av­er­ages. Dr Ken­neth Kaunda beat Cape Town 83-39 in their fi­nal match but lost out to Tsh­wane by 0.07 on goal av­er­age.

Dr Ken­neth Kaunda will meet Cape Winelands in the play­off for third place early on to­day.

“We con­ceded prob­a­bly three too many goals,” lamented coach El­sje Jor­daan.

“It’s tough that there are no semi­fi­nals. Now we have to play a team that fin­ished four points be­hind us on the log for third place. But that’s the for­mat and that’s the way it is.”

Ini­tially, the A-sec­tion was to have been di­vided into two pools, with semi­fi­nals and a fi­nal. How­ever, af­ter the with­drawal of two teams, it was de­cided that the matches should be played on a round robin ba­sis, with each team play­ing each other. The con­gested sched­ule meant teams of­ten had to play three matches a day.

De­spite her dis­ap­point­ment, Jor­daan said she fully sup­ported the tour­na­ment be­ing played on a dis­trict rather than pro­vin­cial ba­sis.

“The pro­vin­cial sys­tem meant that it was the Bru­tal Fruit (Net­ball Premier League) played in a week, which did noth­ing to ex­pand the game,” she said.

“But in fu­ture there must be rankings and there must be semi­fi­nals.”

Man­gaung played two matches yesterday, rack­ing up 106 goals to 20 against Bo­janala (Rusten­burg) and beat­ing Nel­son Man­dela Bay 63-34.

Man­gaung beat Tsh­wane in their round robin match, but De Kock said she ex­pected a very tough match.

“They will be mak­ing their plans and plot­ting how to beat us,” she said. “I will tell the play­ers to be brave and to keep ball in hand.”

In other matches, Tsh­wane squeaked home against Cape Winelands by 28 goals to 27 in a tense match in wet and windy con­di­tions. Cape Town beat Nkan­gala (Mid­del­burg) 79-12, and Cape Winelands beat Eh­lanzeni (Nel­spruit) 72-18.

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