AFTER trailing 30-16 at half time, the Eastern Aloes came storming back in the second half of their second round Brutal Fruit Netball Cup match against the Golden Fireballs at the University of Pretoria sports centre.
But it was too little, too late for the Eastern Cape side and the Fireballs hung on to beat them 47-43.
The Fireballs, who include a number of Spar Proteas, got off to a good start and were five goals up before the Aloes scored their first goal. The Fireballs, who are looking better with every game, dominated the first half and the Aloes looked dead and buried.
But Aloes wing attack Zanele Mdodana, who had left the court with a cramp in the second quarter, came back after the break, and the presence of the former Proteas vice-captain energised her team.
There was little difference between the teams in the third quarter, with the Fireballs scoring 10 goals to the Aloes’ nine, but it was in the final quarter that Aloes came out firing, outscoring the Fireballs 18-7.
But although they were the ones exerting the pressure this time, they were unable to overcome the huge half-time deficit, and were left wondering what they had to do to win a match.
The Fireballs once again made some interesting positional changes, with the dynamic Erin Burger moving from centre to goal attack. As always, she appeared to be omnipresent on the court, and earned the player of the match award.
Aloes coach Lana Krige said she believed her team could still secure a victory. “There are obviously things we can work on, like releasing the ball quicker on attack. We did that in the last quarter and it worked.
“We will come back with passion next week, and if we play the way we did in the last quarter, coming back from 14 goals down to just three, we can still register a win,” she said.
Fireballs coach Martha Mosoahle-Samm said it was important for the Fireballs to win every match from now on, if they were to challenge for the title.