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The North West Flames thumped the Gauteng Golden Fireballs 55-32 in their Telkom Netball League match at the Pretoria University Sports Centre on Sunday, after leading 27-13 at halftime.

The Fireballs won the first quarter 8-7 before the Flames stepped up a level to outplay them in the second quarter.  Goal shooter Chantelle Louw scored eight goals and goal attack Elsunet du Plessis eight, while the Fireballs shooters could only muster five goals.

The Fireballs made something of a comeback in the third quarter, which the two teams shared 10-all, but it was too little, too late.  They ran out of steam in the final quarter, with the Flames outscoring them 18-9.

“I started with my bench players, to give them some experience of playing under pressure,” said Flames coach Elsje Jordaan.

“From the second quarter, I went back to the known combinations.  I am very pleased with the result, but we are still making too many unforced errors.  We can’t afford lapses of concentration.”

“People always underestimate us and play their weaker players and then have to bring on their top players,” said Fireballs coach Jenni-lee Delport.

“We started brilliantly, but in the second quarter, we lost patience and intensity.  We need more consistency. I am also not happy with the shooters’ shooting averages.”

A brilliant second quarter by Limpopo Baobabs goal shooter Grace Lechaba ensured a comprehensive 57-47 victory for the Baobabs over the Northern Cape Diamonds. 

The Diamonds started well and were in the lead for much of the first quarter before the Diamonds overtook them, narrowly winning the quarter by 12 goals to 11.

In the second quarter, Lechaba scored 17 goals from 17 attempts while goal attack Rumandi Potgieter succeeded with three from four to put the Stars 32-20 ahead at halftime – a goal difference which proved to be too much for the Diamonds to overtake. 

The Diamonds remained determined and won the third quarter 15-10, but the damage had been done.  The Baobabs won the last quarter 12-10.

“I had watched some of the Diamonds’ other games, and we took advantage of their weaknesses,” said Baobabs coach Anna Ledwaba.

“I told them to keep pushing forward and to put the Diamonds under pressure,” she said.

Diamonds coach Elfrieda Luyt said part of her team’s problem was that the shooters were taking too long in the circle.

“The combinations are beginning to work together, but our centre lives a long way from Kimberley and can’t practice with us during the week, which makes things a bit difficult,” said Luyt.



Results of Telkom Netball League matches played at the Pretoria University Sports Centre on Sunday

Division One

North West Flames 55 (27) Gauteng Golden Fireballs 32 (13)

Division Two

Kingdom Stars 57 (32) Northern Cape Diamonds 47 (20)