South Africa clip Sunshine Girls 55-52 in frenetic group decider

Sanjay Myers
Sport Reporter

Monday, July 15, 2019

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LIVERPOOL, England — Jamaica blamed carelessness in possession as the main reason for their 52-55 defeat at the hands of lower-ranked South Af rica in yesterday's frenetic Netball World Cup Group C decider inside M&S Bank Arena.

Jamaica finished the first stage of the preliminaries with four points after two victories and a loss. South Africa topped Group C with six points after three wins.

“Our start was really poor. It was just the simple turnovers that we've been talking about. We keep making them, so it's just now to fix those and once we fix those we'll be good to go,” said vice-captain Vangelee Williams during the mixed zone.

The Sunshine Girls, ranked second in the world behind Australia, did bounce back from an 11-goal deficit at the half-time to pull level midway the fourth quarter. However, they fumbled possession at crucial stages and lost momentum that they were never able to regain.

The loss is a setback in their title-winning challenge, but they have minimum turnaround time before lining up against hosts England at the start of round two preliminaries today.

“It's not the first we're playing England. We know the rivalry is strong, so we just have to come, put our best foot forward and stamp our class,” Williams told reporters.

South Africa's goal attack Maryka Holtzhausen, brimming with glee, told the Jamaica Observer that she was surprised the Jamaicans did not utilise their superior robustness throughout.

“It hasn't really sunk it yet but I think when we get to the changing room we'll realise what we just did… but to pull it through is just glory to God,” she said.

“If I'm to be really honest, I expected it to be a bit more physical. I've played some Jamaican teams that have been really physical, but I think the Jamaicans played a really clean game. They put up a good performance but I'm glad that we could pull this one through.”

Holtzhausen conceded that South Africa struggled after Nicole Dixon and Stacian Facey went into the game.

“We were slow out of the box in the third quarter and Jamaica made some changes and we just didn't adapt to them quick enough,” the Proteas player told the Observer.

Jamaica's goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler struck 38 goals from 39 attempts, while goal attack Shanice Beckford hit 14 from 19.

South Africa's goal shooter Lenize Potgieter counted 36 goals from 39 tries, while Holtzhausen scored 19 from 29.

South Africa, ranked fifth in the world, began sharply and with high intensity, racing into 16-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.

They built on that advantage to stay ahead 32-21 at the half, as Jamaica continued to commit turnovers, blighting their chances to shoot at the opponents' goal.

Dixon was brought in for Adean Thomas at centre, and Facey went on for Jodi-Ann Ward, who was at wing defence. The latter change involved pushing Facey into goal defence, while allowing vice-captain Williams to take over at wing defence.

The shuffle reaped immediate rewards for the desperate and energised Jamaicans.

They tightened the screws to reduce the deficit to 38-42 heading into the fourth and final period. They continued to pressure their opponents, forcing them into turnovers, but after pulling level at 44 they seemed to hit a wall and South Africa took full advantage to edge to victory.

Teams:

Jamaica — Jhaniele Fowler, Shanice Beckford, Khadijah Williams, Adean Thomas, Jodi-Ann Ward, Vangelee Williams, Shamera Sterling

Subs: Romelda Aiken, Kadie-Ann Dehaney, Nicole Dixon, Stacian Facey, Rebekah Robinson

South Africa — Lenize Potgieter, Maryka Holtzhausen, Bongiwe Msomi, Erin Burger, Shadine Van Der Merwe, Karla Pretorius, Phumza Maweni.

Subs: Sigrid Burger, Izette Griesel, Chawane Khanyisa, Renske Stoltz, Zanele Vimbela

Yesterday's results

New Zealand 89, Singapore 21

Malawi 65, Barbados 41

England 90, Samoa 24

Uganda 52, Scotland 43

Australia 99, Sri Lanka 24

Northern Ireland 49, Zimbabwe 51

Jamaica 52, South Africa 55

Trinidad and Tobago 67, Fiji 56

Today's matches

First session

Zimbabwe vs New Zealand

Northern Ireland vs Malawi

Australia vs Barbados

Sri Lanka vs Singapore

Second session

Jamaica vs England

Fiji vs Samoa

Trinidad and Tobago vs Uganda

South Africa vs Scotland


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