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The SPAR Baby Proteas’ dreams of reaching the semifinals of the Netball World Youth Cup were thwarted on Thursday when they came up against defending champions,  New Zealand, at the Campus Indoor Sports Arena in Gaborone.  The  dominant Silver Ferns beat the South African under -21s by 69 goals to 32.


The Silver Ferns dominated from the start and it was only in the fifth minute that the South Africans were able to score their first goal. By that stage, the Kiwis had scored four and they had a 20-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.


The SPAR Baby Proteas looked more settled in the second quarter, which was their best. They scored 11 goals to 16 and managed to turn the ball several times.

The Silver Ferns were like lightning on court. They were able to throw the ball into empty spaces, secure in the knowledge that someone would collect the pass,  while the South Africans often appeared to be searching desparately for someone to pass to.


By halftime, the Silver Ferns were ahead by 36 goals to 20 and they continued their dominance for the rest of the match.

The SPAR Baby Proteas fought hard and held their heads high,  but they made a number of mistakes, including resorting to long,  looping passes that the Kiwis were able to intercept with ease. They scored just six goals in each of the last two quarters,  while New Zealand replied with 16 and 18.


Coach Dorette Badenhorst said it had been another tough match, after the match against Australia on Wednesday.

“We didn’t play well and we made far too many silly mistakes,” she said.

“And it’s not going to get any easier,  now that we are in the playoffs for fifth to eighth place.


“We’re going to come up against teams like Uganda and Fiji,  and either England or Jamaica.  We will have to go back to basics and play the kind of netball we’re capable of playing. I still believe we can retain our fifth place,  but it’s going to require a lot of hard work,” said Badenhorst.