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The Western Cape Tornados and the Limpopo Lilies opened up Saturday’s lineup of games with an intense morning match and a triumph for the Tornados. The Coastal team celebrated their well-deserved victory after finishing the match with an overall score of 54-33 in their favor.

Coach Freda Kemp made some notable changes to their lineup from their previous game, with four players who started the last game now sitting on the bench.

The game began with the Tornados winning the first center pass, however, their possession was short-lived as the Lilies intercepted the ball in the middle of the court. Capitalizing on the turnover, the Lilies scored the first goal of the match. The Tornados had a slow start to the battle, it wasn’t until the first quarter was nearing an end that they managed to take the lead in the game.

Moving into the second quarter, the Tornados entered the round with their lineup changes and quickly gained momentum. They scored more goals, displaying a newfound aggression and energy to secure the win. On the other hand, the Limpopo squad faced difficulty getting the ball into the shooting circle, resulting in fewer goals for them both in the second and third quarter of play.

The Tornados maintained their strong momentum all the way until the final whistle with their enhanced performance resulting in a higher goal count by the end of the quarter. They put in an impressive 16 goals while the Lilies managed to score only 8. With a final score of 54-33, the Tornados clinched an overall win as well as a player of the match coming from their side. It was the outstanding defensive display of the goalkeeper, Agban Agbai Olukemi that earned her the well-deserved Player of the Match accolade for her relentless determination, and crucial interceptions that played a pivotal role in securing the victory for her team.

In the Division 1 showdown, the North West Flames and the Eastern Cape Aloes battled it out in a back-to-back spectacle of netball prowess. At the ten-minute mark, the teams were neck and neck on goals, displaying their unwavering determination to claim victory. However, it was the Flames who ignited the court and blazed a trail to success by winning the opening quarter, leaving the Aloes trailing behind.

Coach Sameshia Esau’s team found themselves with opportunities to close the gap and catch up to the Flames in the second quarter but were let down by their shooting, as the ball repeatedly rebounded off the rim. The Aloes also had a big chance to add one more goal to their tally before the quarter’s end, but the Flames showcased their defensive prowess, with Sanmarie Visser and Jordan Martine dispossessing their opponents in the circle and regaining possession.

After the break, the Flames emerged with a change in tempo, seizing Aloes’ center passes and swiftly converting them into crucial goals. The Aloes, determined not to be overshadowed, picked up their intensity and rose to the challenge after enduring the Flames’ relentless attacks for two grueling minutes. The third quarter proved just how closely contested this match was, with the Flames leading by a mere one point, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats.

With the final quarter underway, the intensity reached its peak. Both teams left everything on the court, pouring their energy into every pass, intercept, and shot. In the end, it was the North West Flames who emerged victorious, securing a final score of 60-46 in their favor. Their goal defender, Sanmarie Visser, once again proved her mettle and defensive skills, earning her the well-deserved player of the match award.

The exhilarating match between the KwaZulu-Natal Kingdom Queens and the Mpumalanga Sunbirds was a display of skill and athleticism that will undoubtedly be remembered as a highlight of the Telkom Netball League. Both teams showed their mettle, but it was the Sunbirds who emerged victorious in a thrilling encounter, defeating the Kingdom Queens with a final score of 39-35.

The Sunbirds made tweaks to their previous matchday lineup, opting to switch their goalkeeper, Palesa Mbukwana for Tumelo Nkoe and Zanele Mokoena took a rest, allowing Regan Millard to step up as the goal shooter. On the other hand, the Kingdom Queens made a solitary change in their center position, with Siphiwe Sibisi taking the court while Noxolo Mdlalose sat out.

Coach Thembisile Mdluli’s side showcased their competency from the first center pass, swiftly winning the first quarter despite the Queens being determined to give their opponents a tough fight. In the second quarter, the Sunbirds were kept away from their attacking third for the first five minutes and the gap closed down from a five-goal difference to a mere two goals. The Sunbirds’ defensive pair of wing defender Seja Kgaabi, center Jani Bergh and wing attack Sylvia Lebelo, worked tirelessly to counter the Queens’ resurgence and narrowly maintained a one-point lead at halftime.

The third quarter witnessed a stunning comeback by the Kingdom Queens. Displaying incredible skill and resilience, they turned the tables on the Sunbirds and took the lead. Despite the Sunbirds making changes to their defensive structure and personnel, with Palesa replacing Tumelo in the goalkeeping position, they struggled to regain the dominance they had earlier. Unfortunately for the Sunbirds, their wing defender Seja Kgaabi had to leave the court due to an injury.

As the final quarter commenced, Dikeledi Mpanza of the Kingdom Queens emerged as a pivotal player. Her exceptional defensive skills disrupted the Sunbirds’ shooters in the circle, winning crucial balls and overturning possession. However, the Sunbirds managed to claw their way back into the game, gradually closing the gap, they surpassed the Queens’ score and emerged victorious in a hard-fought 39-35 win.

In an action-packed and goal-thrilling encounter, the Southern Stings clashed with the Gauteng Jaguars in a highly anticipated match as the Gauteng team emerged victorious with a final score of 47-41. The Jaguars came into this game having suffered a defeat at the hands of the Fireballs in their previous outing. The match exploded with fast-paced attacking from both sides from the first whistle, putting the defenders to work. Both teams were relentless defensively in their pursuit to win the ball, but it was the Stings goalkeeper, Phumza Maweni together with Nicola Smith who stood guard in the circle, making it challenging for the Jaguars’ shooters to find their range.

On the opposite end of the court, Jasmine Ziegelmeier and Jamie Van Wyk exhibited solid defensive skills for the Jaguars. However, the Jaguars managed to take an early lead with a scoreline of 13-7. The second quarter was characterized by intense interceptions from both teams, resulting in the game flowing seamlessly from one side of the court to the other. The score remained tightly contested, adding to the excitement and suspense of the match. The Western Cape troops pulled 15 goals in this quarter, narrowly coming close to equalizing the Jaguars 24 goals.

The shooting pair of Rochelle Rossouw and Nichole Taljaard for Stings worked tirelessly to produce goals and actively engage in the action. The fast pace of the game saw the Stings dominating the quarter, scoring 22 goals to the Jaguars’ 14. With the final quarter unfolding, the Stings’ defenders demonstrated an unwavering fighting spirit, Phumza Maweni displayed her versatility, taking the place of goal defender Nicola Smith in the last nine minutes of the match. Despite their valiant effort, the Jaguars proved to be the stronger side on this occasion.

Tornados 54-33 Lilies
Aloes 46-60 Flames
Kingdom Queens 35-39 Sunbirds
Southern Stings 41-47 Jaguars