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After a full week of male netball action in Pretoria, it was time to bring down the curtain on a successful tournament and crown champions at the end of the day. The 2021 edition of the Male International Challenge took place in Pretoria and teams competing included South Africa, Uganda, Department of Correctional Services, Action Sport and Kenya.

The first game of the final day which was a 3rd place play off match saw Action Sport take on Kenya, this was always going to be a tough encounter. Both teams came into this match with four wins and three losses each under their belts.

It was a difficult match to predict as both teams threw everything at each other for the first three quarters, and looking at how things were going, one could already start anticipating a draw and possible extra time.

The game got very physical during the last quarter umpire Theo Moletsane had to send off Uganda wing defender Julius Karanja for consistent dangerous tackles against Action Sports players. Karanja resisted the umpire’s instruction to leave the court, his fellow teammates charged at the umpire, and this saw two other players being given their marching orders. The match had to be called off as Kenya had only four players left on court. Action Sports were declared bronze medal winners as they were leading 43 -42 at the time the game was called off.

“I think we had a good game of netball for the first three quarters, and we were looking for a great end to the game however this got very ugly in the last quarter, this is not how I had imagined ending the game. I had to remind my players why we are here and asked them to keep it together and stick to the rule. It was rather unfortunate how all this ended,” said Action Sport Head Coach Hazel Coetzer at the end of the match.

The final match of the day was between hosts South Africa and Uganda. South Africa were cleat favourites as they came into this match without losing a single match whereas Uganda had only lost thrice and won five.

South Africa continued with their form and started the match like a house on fire and made their intentions to win very clear from the first whistle. Head Coach Arthur Maseko did not tamper much with his starting seven.

As expected, Uganda took South Africa to task and made sure that they give them a run for their money. The hosts kept their own and stick to their game plan. It was South Africa who came out victorious and declared overall winners, they won 59 – 34.

Speaking after the game, Arthur Maseko said “This win is for the players, they deserve it and they have fought very hard for it. This week has not been an easy one, but we soldiered on and made sure that we win, this is well deserved. I am looking forward to bigger and better things to come. I am told we are off to Morocco so for first Africa Male Netball Cup. This is the next best thing for us, and we will start getting ready for that one. “

Other winners are:

Best Goal Shooter – Shane Labuschagne from Action Sports

Best Centre player – Shiko Mokaila from South Africa

Best Defender – Gonzago Kigozi from Uganda

Best Overall Player – Eugene Sinxesi