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Pretoria, Gauteng Province, South Africa: Scotland squeaked into the final of the SPAR Diamond Challenge at the Rembrandt Hall at the Tuks Sports Centre in Tshwane on Friday with a nail-biting draw 41-41 against Zimbabwe.

The Scottish Thistles went through to the final on goal average.

Scotland got off to a good start, winning the first quarter 16-10, but Zimbabwe came back strongly to win the second quarter 1-7. The third quarter was shared, with nine goals each, and Zimbabwe won the final quarter 12-9.

Zimbabwe assistant coach Wisdom Shinya said he was very happy with the way the Zimbabwe Gems came back after the first quarter

“What we need is more consistency, and there are things we can work on,” said Shinya.

“We need to work on our speed and accuracy, but overall I am very pleased with today’s performance.”

Zimbabwe captain Felisitas Kwangwa said she was proud of the way the team had come back after a poor start.

“But we need to start better, so that we don’t spend time playing catch-up.”

A relieved Thistles captain, Claire Maxwell, said her team had allowed Zimbabwe back into the match after a fantastic start.

“We came here with the aim of reaching the final, and we have done that,” she said.

Coach Tamsin Greenway said the players had learnt a lot about themselves during the tournament and the match had been an important one.

“At least we didn’t lose,” she said.

“We came here for a variety of reasons and I think we have achieved most of them.

“We need to learn how to win and how to attack.  If you are going to win, you have to be fearless,” said Greenway.

Day 3 results of the SPAR Diamond Challenge at the University of Pretoria, Rembrandt Hall on Friday, 25 November 2022

Scotland vs Zimbabwe
Q1: Scotland 16 – 10 Zimbabwe
Q2: Scotland 23 – 20 Zimbabwe
Q3: Scotland 32 – 29 Zimbabwe
Q4: Scotland 41 – 41 Zimbabwe

Photo: Reg Caldecott