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Netball World Cup: South Africa hold on to upset Jamaica

The Proteas survived a Jamaican fightback in the second half to score an upset win over the number two ranked side in the world 55-52.

South Africa came out strongly in the first quarter led by the shooting of Lenize Potgieter who sunk 10 out of 10 shots in the first quarter to help the Proteas to a 16-9 lead after fifteen minutes.

Maryka Holtzhausen was less accurate in the shooting circle but the penalty count favoured South Africa in a tight contest.

Jamaica improved in the second quarter but the Proteas stretched their lead by another four goals as they netted another 16 points, the score was 32-21 at half-time.

The Proteas beat Trinidad and Tobago and Fiji in their two previous matches.

The number two ranked team showed resilience to find a way back into the match with a superb third quarter. In previous matches, Norma Plummer had made wholesale changes at half-time but against the more fancied Jamaica she kept most of her starting team on the court. Both sides began to tire but Jamaica would be given a way back into the match by winning the third quarter 17-10. Jamaica started the final quarter just four points behind the Proteas.

The fourth quarter was a nail-biting affair with both sides making mistakes, conceding critical intercepts and penalties. Jamaica closed the gap to the Proteas but the South African ladies dug deep. Vangelee Williams introduction changed the game and put the Proteas on the backfoot.

The skipper does the business for South Africa

9fbd13a5 bongi msomi - Netball World Cup: South Africa hold on to upset Jamaica
Bongiwe Msomi of South Africa looks on during preliminaries stage one match between Jamaica and South Africa at M&S Bank Arena on July 14, 2019, in Liverpool, England. Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

The re-introduction of the Proteas inspirational skipper and centre Bongi Msomi saw the momentum shift again and the Proteas looked favourites with five minutes to go.

Jamaica were two down coming into the final minute when the Proteas won a crucial intercept that effectively killed off the contest.

South Africa’s neighbours Zimbabwe, playing in their first World Cup also scored a stirring upset against Northern Ireland on day three of the Netball World Cup.

The Proteas will end Group C on top of the points table having won all three of their matches.

The top three in each group advance to the second preliminary phase. South Africa’s win over Jamaica sets them up well for the run to the semi-finals.

South Africa play Scotland tomorrow in what will be a difficult game for the high-flying Proteas.

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