Baby Spar Proteas and two other countries secure place at the Youth Championships

netball25 March 2024 11:18
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© Netball SA

The final day of the Netball World Youth Cup 2025 Africa Regional Qualifiers started off with a match between Namibia and Kenya in the 5th/6th playoff. 

Namibia came into Saturday’s match with two wins while Kenya had one. The last time these two nations met in this tournament on Thursday, they played to a stalemate (43 -all). At the end of the sixty minutes, it was Kenya that won 50-42 to secure fifth place.

The second match which was 3rd/4th playoff was between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The winner of this match would also secure a spot in Gibraltar next year. Both teams came into this match with an equal number of wins, losses and points and they were only separated by goal difference.

The two teams understood the task ahead of them and what was at stake. Both teams went off at each from the first whistle and towards the end of the match, it looked highly possible that the match would go into extra time because for the better part of the last quarter, the teams were tied. However, it was Zambia that peeled off in the last seconds to clinch third place, winning 43-41 after an hour of play.

Hosts, South Africa took on Malawi in the final match of the tournament with Malawi recording five wins in six matches and the Baby Spar Proteas yet to lose a match – this had the makings of a thrilling match.

The last time these two nations met in the week, it was Baby Spar Proteas who walked away as victors – Malawi would want revenge to even the score while South Africa were eager to end the tournament unblemished.

The match was quite a physical one from the Malawian team who used their height and physique advantage against the Baby Spar Proteas. This did not deter South Africa who also enjoyed the support of the home crowds.

At the end of the first quarter, the Baby Spar Proteas enjoyed a seven-point lead winning the period 12-5 however Malawi made a return in the second quarter of the match, and they were able to take the quarter 9-8, so ending the first half with an overall score of 20-14 to Baby Spar Proteas.

The championship quarter was going to be one that separated the two teams. With every second ticking off the clock, the Baby Spar Proteas began to dig deep in search of the drive to win the quarter. With discipline and precision, they turned the corner and clinched it 12-5, ending the third quarter 32-19 up.

Just as the last quarter started, the Baby Spar Proteas enjoyed a numerical advantage after Malawi’s goalkeeper Shabel Bengo got herself sent off after dangerous contact on Renezia Andrews. South Africa used their numerical advantage wisely as they piled on the goals and made sure that they won the match 45-26. South Africa finished first without losing a single match.

Overall, Winners:

Disciplined Team – Zambia

Promising Player – Harriet Muchuma

Best Shooter – Thandazile Ndlovu

Best Mid Court – Phophi Nematangari

Best Defender – Sanmarie Visser

Player of the Tournament – Karla Victor

Top four Standings

First place: South Africa

Second place: Malawi

Third place: Zambia

Fourth place: Zimbabwe