As the opening game and first home game for Madibaz kicked off, hopes were high for the side from Port Elizabeth to improve on their standing last year.
The game started off very evenly, with the first goal only coming after almost two minutes. And the first powerplay was taken in the fourth minute by UWC but backfired, as Madibaz took the lead back from UWC through this and turned the tide in favour of the Madibaz.
The first quarter was full of long range shots from an experienced and skilful Madibaz attack, allowing them to extend their lead through the first quarter. But as UWC slowly settled in, they closed down that lead with the first quarter ending in favour of Madibaz 16 – 13.
The second quarter started off strongly for Madibaz, playing predominantly in the UWC half scoring five unanswered points in 5 minutes, controlling possession and the play. Not only was the attack great in this quarter for Madibaz, but their defence on centre court was strong, allowing for quick turnovers and scoring opportunities. This led to Madibaz taking their powerplay with momentum in their favour and taking full advantage scoring 3 double points in their powerplay, leading 36-19 halfway through the game.
The third quarter started off with much of the same. Madibaz keeping up their momentum and accurate shooting and passing to extend their lead. The concentration did start to drop and UWC took advantage scoring a few goals unanswered, but with the scores at 45-26 to Madibaz at this stage, it was okay for Madibaz to slack a little after a few new faces were introduced. But these are the critical stages to keep concentration against bigger teams. The third quarter ended at 49-30 to Madibaz, making it a very even quarter in terms of points.
The fourth quarter started off with Madibaz pushing for that treasured bonus point. Krige allowed all her players to get Varsity Netball exposure with a 19-point lead. Two minutes in and they got their bonus point with another enthusiastic cheer from the home crowd, cheering on every point. The fans finally being treated to a home win after Madibaz did not win any home games last year.
The final quarter was a lot more even, but Madibaz had such a lead that they only needed to see out the game. Even with Jeanie Steyn from Madibaz being sent off for two minutes for constant infringements, Madibaz stood their ground. Once she was back in the game, Madibaz took control again and were finishing those long range shots, with the defence of UWC nowhere.
Madibaz getting the full 5 points from their opening game will give them the world of confidence and they will look to carry it over in their game against VUT tomorrow.
Lana Krige, the coach of Madibaz will be very happy with the speed and accuracy of a much improved team from last year. Showing positive signs for the season ahead for Madibaz.
FNB Player of the Match: Nobubele Phuza (Madibaz)
Samsung Best Shot Award: Nolusindiso Twani (Madibaz)
Wimpy Moment Maker:
Madibaz: Nolusindiso Twani (Lucy)(GA/GS), Bianca Blom (GA/GS), Jody Vorster (GS), Carla Viviers (WA/GA), Arne Rust (C/WA), Nobubele Phuza (C/GD), Siyasanga Poyo (Palesa)(WD/GD), Mihlali Mahlangeni (WA/C), Renskie Steyn (Jeanie)(GK), Hlumisa Sithonga (Chippy) (GD/GK), Yoliswa Gusha (GA/WA), Eloise Webb (WD/C)
UWC: Jaumbuaije Zauana (VC)(GS), Vendjihonga Katjaimo (GA), Gailynn Potts (GA), Cindy Amsterdam (WA), Heike Swartz (WA), Keesha van Schalkwyk (Captain)(C), Akhona Faye (WD), Wilmedine Boer (GD), Alicia Pieterse (WD), Savannah Kasner (GK), Esli Triegaardt (GK), Ilke Cape (GS)
By Shawn Marsh