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Potchefstroom, North West, South Africa: Johannesburg and Tshwane got off to the best possible start at the SPAR National Netball Championships at the North West University, Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds in Potchefstroom on Monday.

Johannesburg recorded convincing victories in both their opening matches, beating Buffalo City 49-22 and Mangaung 36-23.

Coach Elsje Jordaan said it had been a very positive start for her young team, which is a combination of members of the Golden Fireballs, who won the Telkom Netball League, and young untried players.

“We started well in both matches, but then let things slip again,” said Jordaan.

“We have a lot of young players, who make mistakes. It’s a work in progress but I am reasonably happy with the way things are going.

“I am trying to give as many players as possible a run.  We need to rest tired legs and expose players to some tough matches. It’s very much a work in progress, but I am pleased with our early results.  There’s a long way to go in this tournament,” said Jordaan.

Tshwane, who have dominated netball in recent years, missed the national championships last year because members of the team contracted Covid-19.  However, they picked up where they left off  the previous year with a 36-32 win over host team, Dr Kenneth Kaunda.

“It was close, but I’ll take the win,” said coach Jenny van Dyk.

There are a number of new faces in the Tshwane team and Van Dyk said it was interesting to work with a team she did not know.

“It’s a new team and so I need to work on a number of things.

“We will just take it game by game and see how we get on.  I think there are a lot of competitive teams in this tournament.”

Tshwane went on to beat Cape Winelands by 43 goals to 27. Tshwane and Johannesburg are now top of the log with four goals each.

In other matches played on Monday, last year’s runners-up Nelson Mandela Bay beat defending champions Cape Winelands 30-28 and Buffalo City beat Nelson Mandela Bay 27-25.

Selected matches will be broadcast on SuperSport OTT3/Channel 247 on the DSTV App (8-11 August 2022) and Variety 4/Channel 209 (12 August 2022). Finals LIVE on SuperSport Variety 3 Channel 208 (13 August 2022). Selected matches will be streaming on the SuperSport Schools App.

DAY 1: Results
Senior A
Johannesburg 49 – Buffalo City 22
Cape Winelands 28 – Nelson Mandela Bay 30
Dr Kenneth Kaunda 32 – Tshwane 36
Johannesburg 36 – Mangaung 23
Buffalo City 27 – Nelson Mandela Bay 25
Tshwane 43 – Cape Winelands 27

U21 A
Johannesburg 21 – Mangaung 33
Tshwane 29 – Dr Kenneth Kaunda 22
Ekurhuleni 20 – Cape Town 28