Eastern Cape Aloes get stung

BIG DEFEAT: Noluvuyo Nodludlume, left, of the Eastern Cape Aloes, in action during their Netball Premier League game against the Southern Stings at the UCT Indoor Arena in Cape Town at the weekend

The Southern Stings retained their unbeaten record with an emphatic 68-30 win over the Eastern Cape Aloes in their Netball Premier League match at the UCT Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday.

The Stings were clinical throughout and the circle defence made life very difficult for the Aloes’ shooters.

Phumza Maweni, at goal defence instead of her usual goalkeeper position, thrived on the added responsibility and had an outstanding match.

The Stings were 32-16 ahead at half time and extended their lead every quarter.

“I was able to play my whole bench – in fact, I have now played my whole squad,” Stings coach Annelie Lucas said.

“I don’t like the tag of being the only unbeaten team in the tournament. We were on top throughout last year and came short in the semis.

“But we have learnt a lot since then and will be better prepared.”

Aloes coach Des Neville said: “We knew it would be tough and very physical.”

“They are a team of very fit athletes and are a physical team. If you come up against them, you’re likely to end on the floor.

“I felt better about my centre court this week, and I am also happy with my younger players.”

Proteas captain Maryka Holtzhausen came back to topclass netball with a bang on Saturday as she led the Free State Crinums to victory over the Kingdom Stars.

Holtzhausen was out of action for eight months after a serious knee injury she sustained during the national championships in Durban last year.

The Crinums – the defending champions – started fairly slowly and were 19-13 ahead at half time.

Holtzhausen came on at goal attack in the third quarter and injected new vigour to the team. They scored an impressive 18 goals in the quarter and 15 in the final quarter.

The Stars also had a good game, but the Crinums, who had not won a match until Saturday, were just too good for them.

Yesterday, the Crinums recorded their second consecutive win when they beat the Aloes 63-36.

The Free State team has a habit of starting the league slowly and building up towards the knockout stages.

They lost their first three games, but appear to be on track to the final once again.

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