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The Golden Fireballs survived a late scare against the Kingdom Stars and registered a 53-32 win at the Heartfelt Arena in Pretoria. The Fireballs had clear intentions in the first quarter, when they took a 15-7 lead. The Stars’ shooting woes continued in the second quarter and they struggled to convert the eighteen balls that they gained through their defensive skills, to sit on a fifty-nine goal percentage at half-time.

Having scored just thirteen goals in the first half, coach Precious Mthembu made three attacking changes and two defensive changes in the championship quarter to match up to the Fireballs’ intensity. The Stars’ defensive trio of Nozipho Ntshangase, Nosihle Mkhwanazi and Jordan Buys made their presence known in the Fireballs’ goal third, turning ball and coming away with crucial pick-ups. Goal Shooter Aphiwe Thusini also made an impact on goal with her superb finishing, which saw the Stars only lose the third quarter by one goal.

The Stars had plenty of motivation going into the last quarter. Defensively, the KZN side continued to be a nightmare for the Fireballs, although both teams gave away plenty of turnover balls due to unforced errors and mismanagement of the ball. Fireballs Goal Shooter Owethu Ngubane, who had only missed one goal at half-time, proved to be the difference for her side with her consistency, and converted all her shots in the second half and was rewarded with the Player of the Match accolade for her industrious performance.

Despite the victory, the Fireballs will remain second on the log and coach Dr. Elsje Jordaan says they will use the next two games to put them in a favorable position for the semi-finals: ‘’We are a team with integrity, we play every game to win and we give it our best. It’s not that we will not take the foot off the pedal, saying we have secured that semi-final position. For us, its about finishing strong and achieving the goals that we have set for ourselves, and that is what the team is all about.’’

The Stings also secured an emphatic 52-33 win against the Eastern Cape Aloes in Division One, this was an important victory for the Stings to seal a semi-final spot in the competition following the Flames’ defeat. Adri Kannemeyer showcased her shooting accuracy and composure underneath the post to win her first Player of the Match award in her debut season for the Stings. The Stings will now have to wait until Thursday to find out who they will face for a spot in the final.

In Division Two, the Sunbirds put last night’s one goal defeat behind them and came out stronger against Sonoblomo, beating them 58-39. The first quarter was tightly contested, with both teams deadlocked at eleven goals apiece. Sonoblomo were dealt an injury blow in the early stages of the second quarter, when Goal Defense Lerato Chabwe had to be carried off court and was sent to hospital, which saw a drop in Sonoblomo’s approach. The Sunbirds’ defensive trio of Tumelo Nkoe, Maryke Coetzee and Palesa Mbukwana found some thrust defensively and impeded Sonoblomo’s transitions, taking a ten-goal lead at half-time.

Amy Jacobs was then introduced on Goal Attack for Sonoblomo, alongside Bianca Pienaar on Shooter, which added more variety for the side in the second half. Jacobs and Pienaar did a great job in splitting the defenders and keeping them at bay, helping the side to a strong finish and winning the fourth quarter 13-12 but the delayed surge wasn’t enough to secure a win.


The Tornados left it all on court last night against the Mpumalanga Sunbirds and didn’t have enough left in the tank for their match against the Baobabs this morning after being beaten 50-30. The Tornados grabbed momentum as soon as they scored the first goal from their center pass. It then started becoming a defensive contest when Tornados’ and Baobabs’ Goal Defense, Olukemi Agbai and Modjadji Ramurwalo respectively, claimed back-to-back intercepts for their teams. The Limpopo team clearly dominated the defensive battle in the opening quarter and took a 12-7 lead.

The Tornados struggled to push through the mid-court in the second quarter, with the Baobabs shutting down all their efforts and picking up loose balls in the process to add to their tally. The team from the Western Cape had only managed to score just two goals, five minutes into the quarter. Despite the high error rate, the Tornados remained relentless in challenging for balls but were unable to reward themselves with enough conversions and trailed by eight goals at half-time.

Tornados’ Goal Shooter Liandre Schoeman had not missed a single shot until the third quarter, due to the storm of pressure that came from the Baobabs. The Baobabs continued to be ruthless on defense in the last quarter and the defense put on a show in the Tornados’ goal third. Goal Keeper Cornelia Mupenda secured nine intercepts and Modjadji seven, contributing to the total twenty-three intercepts that the Baobabs were able to grab throughout the game and walk away with a twenty-goal win.

Baobabs coach Emily Mathosa is delighted that her team have shown how powerful they can be, ‘’I am proud of myself and proud of the girls. I played for the Baobabs back in the day and it was not a good feeling waking up and knowing that you are going to lose a game. I am glad that we are changing the narrative of people looking down on the Baobabs; we are actually showing them that we are capable, but it is just a matter of progress and having players that are hungry enough to show up.’’

Meanwhile, the Comets kept their semi-final hopes alive with a 43-38 victory over the Diamonds. A low scoring 10-6 first quarter score went in favor of the Comets as both teams worked tirelessly to set themselves up for gains. Only one mid-court change came from the side of the Comets in the second quarter as both coaches wanted to maintain the momentum. The Diamonds defense overpowered the Comets in their own shooting circle in the third quarter, stealing aerial feeds to draw level at the end of the championship quarter. The fourth quarter was goal for goal until the Diamonds blew up two brilliant intercepts from Center Senestie Ponie and Goal Keeper Bethanie Du Raan to give the Comets a lead. The Eastern Cape side pulled out all the stops defensively to extend their lead and win the match.

In Division One, the Crinums escaped past the Flames with a narrow 53-50 victory. The Crinums dominated the first half and momentum began to swing on the side of the Flames, closing the gap to just three goals in the third quarter. The physicality of the game intensified in the fourth stanza, with scenes of a couple of bodies on the floor. The Flames gave away too many balls in the shooting circle in the dying minutes of the game , which paved a slender win for the Free State team.

Flames coach Elsunet Du Plessis is gutted by the fact that her team didn’t secure a semi-final spot this year, ‘’I think that the players really stood up today and fought for the win. Unfortunately, it didn’t go our way and it is sad because we really needed this one, as this was our last chance to make it into the semi’s. Now there are no semis for us.’’

Full Results

Comets 43-38 Diamonds

Baobabs 50-30 Tornados

Flames 50-53 Crinums

Sonoblomo 39-58 Sunbirds

Stars 32-53 Fireballs

Aloes 33-52 Stings

Tuesday (27/06/2023) Fixtures

08:00|Div.2|Sonoblomo vs Tornados

10:00|Div.2|Lilies vs Diamonds

12:00|Div.1|Stars vs Stings

14:00|Div.1|Fireballs vs Flames

16:00|Div.1|Crinums vs Jaguars

18:00|Div.2|Queens vs Comets