JOHANNESBURG – The Eastern Cape Aloes beat the newcomers KwaZulu-Natal Kingdom Queens 31-35 in the match Division 2 finals on Monday evening at the Mangaung Indoor Sports Complex.
The Aloes struck the opening goal, but it is the Queens that went into the first quarter break with a slender 10-8 lead with the help of their goal shooter Nomfundo Mngomezulu.
Although the Aloes were a bit behind on the scoreline, the defensive combination of Noluthando Maliehe and Jeanie Steyn denied the new comers more balls into the ring.
The Queens’ chances of leading in the second quarter were threatened when Sinethemba Mkhize sustained an injury and Nonkanyiso Dlamini had to step in the court to replace her.
Even so, the KZN uniform stretched their lead in the second quarter and managed to close off the first half with a one-goal cushion.
The Queens started feeling the pressure in the third quarter and started making mistakes that cost them. Aloes coach Sameshia Esau may have had some harsh words for her team during the halftime break, because they came back in the second half with a tight defence system.
The Queens almost had the lead snatched from them in the final minutes of the third quarter, but managed to retain it.
🏅 ACCOLADES Division 2 – FINAL 🏆#TNLQueensAloes
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Nomfundo Mngomezulu (GS) Kingdom Queens
— Netball South Africa (@Netball_SA) October 26, 2020
It was a matter of who wanted the win the most as the Aloes turned the tables and snatched the lead from the KZN outfit.
The Eastern Cape side were serving short and quick passes that helped them in stretching the lead. The combination of Jami-Leigh Goeda and Jody Vorster in the shooting circle was excellent helped their team record a smash-and-grab win.
Meanwhile, the Golden Fireballs will go home with their heads up high after winning the Division A third-place playoff 39-35 against the Southern Stings. The Fireballs went from losing all their matches in last year’s edition to making it to the semi-finals this year to claim the bronze medal despite the team’s injury woes.