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The 2021 Telkom Netball League got underway this morning at the Heartfelt Arena in Pretoria. The Western Cape Tornados were the first team in Division 2 to register a victory after beating the KZN Kingdom Queens 53-42. It was a very tight start to the game with the Queens leading 13-12 in the first quarter. However, the six changes that were made by Queens coach, Zola Starke in the third quarter destabilized the team which saw them trail by twelve goals. Meanwhile, the Tornados who finished third last year in the second division will go into their next game with boosted confidence after this emphatic win.

Tornados coach – Danlee Matthews says she was pleased with her teams’ performance: ‘Before we came into this campaign, we said there’s three things we are    going to work on, being clinical on court, consistency and converting our turnovers to goals. We started off well, still a little bit inconsistent but I’m very proud of the way the girls pulled through’.

The second game of the day saw the three-time champions- The Free State Crinums defeat the Golden Fireballs 56-42. Crinums Goal Attack- Xandri Fourie who was named the player of the match contributed immensely to the teams’ success following her sublime performance in the shooting circle together with Goal Shooter- Claudia van der Berg. The Crinums missed out on a chance to lift the trophy last year after losing to the Jaguars in the final but today’s display proved that the Free State side will be a threat in the competition yet again.

Meanwhile, it is back to the drawing board for the Fireballs who made a plethora of rookie errors in this match and also failed to convert their chances. ‘We knew that it is going to be a difficult match but going into our second match we definitely need to look at our error rate because that was a bit too high’, said Fireballs coach- Rozanne Matthyse after the game.

The third game of the day saw the Limpopo Baobabs walk away as victors after beating the Northern Cape Diamonds 66-42. The Baobabs are looking to improve and yield results after finishing last in Division 2 last year, winning only two of their round robin games.

Two more matches are set to take place this afternoon:
Eastern Cape Aloes vs Mpumalanga Sunbirds at 15:00
Gauteng Jaguars vs Southern Stings at 18:30

Photo Cred: Thuligraphy Images / Skhu Nkhompela