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The Western Cape Tornados and the Eastern Cape Aloes met for the sixth time in today’s division two final. Coming into this match, the Aloes had won three times and the Tornados twice against each other. The Tornados finished top of the log and beat the Sunbirds to book their spot in the final and the Aloes eased past the Baobabs in the semi-finals. It was a competitive start for both sides, but it was the Aloes’ defensive structure that got them over the line. The Aloes were leading by two goals at half-time and were ruthless when punishing Tornados errors which saw them pull away and extend their lead in the third quarter. The Tornados struggled to pierce the Aloes’ wall of pressure in the defensive third and the Eastern Cape side held on to their lead until the final whistle. The Aloes have successfully defended their title and will now gear up for tomorrow’s promotion/relegation match against the Flames.

Meanwhile, a close encounter between the Mpumalanga Sunbirds and the Limpopo Baobabs went down to the wire as both teams were fighting for a third-place finish. The Baobabs had the upper hand in the first half, leading 11-8 and 21-20 in the first and second quarter respectively. The Sunbirds started applying more pressure, forcing the Baobabs to make errors and then dominated all thirds and led by two goals in the third quarter. There was little drive from the Baobabs attacking side which didn’t make life any easier for them and the Sunbirds managed to maintain their narrow lead in the dying minutes of the game and won 42-41.

In division one, the Kingdom Stars stunned the Free State Crinums in the 3rd/4th playoff match to finish third following their 45-40 win. The Stars were the underdogs after losing all their round robin games in 2020 but retained their spot in the division after winning last year’s promotion/relegation match. Stars defensive duo of Danelle Van Der Linde and Jeante Strydom were having a field day in the Crinums shooting circle, scooping intercepts, and shutting down the shooter’s movements. Their efforts were rewarded by Stars Goal Shooter- Nomfundo Mngomezulu who boasted a ninety seven percent goal average which earned her the player of the match accolade. The Crinums attempted to stage a comeback, but time wasn’t on their side.

‘’I prefer going in as the underdog in a game like this. I have to give credit to the bench, there were times when I thought I should make changes, but they just kept me calm. I’m extremely proud of these girls, they are such hardworkers and they deserve this’’, an emotional Stars coach- Marguerite Rootman said. Rootman also reflected on her teams’ journey, ‘’In a way it was hard for them, they suddenly had a new coach, and we didn’t have much time to train. They had a coach with different ideas. If you look at netball in KZN, it’s all about passing the ball to each other, there is no structure, so they suddenly had to adapt to playing with structure’’.