Final day of the Netball Series between England and South Africa went down to the wire, with both teams locked at one–all, it was a winner takes all match.
Norma Plummer, the Proteas Head Coach, made only one change from the team that started on the second day with Phumza Maweni starting ahead of Nicola Smith, who left the court injured on Saturday.
Plummer, who was sitting on the bench for the last time as a coach, would’ve liked to see her charges sealing the series and her departure with a win, but hosts England had other ideas. The Roses seemed to be neutralising South Africa’s fast paced game, forcing them to commit more errors. England ended the first quarter leading 16 – 11.
The second quarter was no different for England as they continued to exert more pressure on South Africa. Plummer’s Proteas understood the importance of not sitting back, as they had to dig deep to make sure to win the quarter 14–13.
South Africa made two changes in the third quarter with veteran skipper Bongiwe Msomi coming in for Khanyisa Chawane and Jeante Strydom was replaced by Boitumelo Mahloko, who was playing for the first time in this series. This championship quarter became a true reflection of the match as both teams drew 13 – all bringing the overall score to 42 – 38 to England.
More changes in the last quarter by South Africa saw Ine Mari Venter, who missed the previous game due to a niggling back injury, coming in for Rolene Streutker and Owethu Ngubane for Kamogelo Maseko.
Errors by the SPAR Proteas became their worst enemy as this allowed England to gain possession turnovers. This was a great fight back by South Africa as they won the quarter 12 – 11 and England taking the match 53 – 50 and winning the series 2 -1.
What a match, what a series! Thank you South Africa for giving it your all. 💪
Win or lose, our unity remains unbreakable. Forever one, forever strong. 💚🇿🇦
Thank you for the contest England, congratulations on the win.#SPARProteas
— Netball South Africa (@Netball_SA) December 10, 2023
“I have had the privilege of working with the best bunch of players in this South African team. It is unfortunate we did not win the series, but I can assure you that we have built something here and I can only hope that the team grows from here.
I’d like to wish the team well and thank them for a great second stint. The time is now for Netball South Africa and netball in South Africa to grow,” said outgoing SPAR Proteas Head Coach, Norma Plummer.
Thank you, Coach Norma Plummer, for your incredible leadership and dedication to the game. Wishing you all the best in your well-deserved retirement. 🙌😍#SPARProteas | #NetballFamily pic.twitter.com/kRAzPWMmDi
— Netball South Africa (@Netball_SA) December 11, 2023
Written by: Ntsako Mukhari