The fourth round clash between the teams at the bottom of the Varsity Netball 2019 standings saw TUT taking their first win, 43-36, over UJ.
The ladies from TUT got off to a much better start than their previous encounters in Bloemfontein as their secured an early four-goal lead. That said, their coach Dumisani Chauke was forced to make a substitution due to an injury to Matamela Murivhami who was replaced by Nkoloki Malebana in the centre position.
The end of the low-scoring first quarter saw TUT maintaining their lead of only three goals, leaving the score at 9-6.
The Orange Army, UJ, was the first to score in the second quarter scoring two consecutive goals to lessen the deficit to only a single goal. This was shortly followed by an interception by the UJ goal defence and vice-captain, Beverley Moyake, to level the score at 9-all. Their effort was rewarded as they took the lead for the first time in the game with just over 10 minutes left in the quarter.
This was followed by TUT bringing on fresh legs as Murivhami came back on to replace Lerato Sedumedi at wing attack. TUT again drew even and interceptions by Malebana, and Cindy Selwana allowed them to regain their two-goal lead.
UJ goal attack, Alicia Oosthuizen, made an interception of her own to avoid TUT extending their lead further and with their last goal being scored after the umpire’s whistle, TUT kept their lead of a single goal, with the half-time score standing at 18-17.
The Orange Army was again the team to score first in the second half, but TUT quickly regained their two-goal lead, which they extended to four. A clever interception right under the UJ goal-post by TUT goalkeeper, Theoner Mthombeni allowed them to maintain this lead.
Defensive pressure from UJ in and around the TUT goal-post and a magical long-range shot by Oosthuizen, allowed UJ to close the gap to three goals. With just less than three minutes left in the third quarter, UJ brought fresh legs on in the form of Marileé van der Walt replacing Kaylin Pienaar in the centre bib.
Despite the UJ effort to reduce the deficit, TUT kept their three-goal lead at the end of the third quarter, leading 28 goals to 25.
The beginning of the final quarter saw UJ making changes in the form of Nompumelelo Mbonambi replacing UJ captain, Rykie Venter, in the goalkeeper position, and Pienaar coming back on at wing attack.
Only two minutes into the quarter, the first Powerplay was called. UJ capitalised on the double-pointers to reduce the TUT lead to one goal. With just less than 10 minutes to play, UJ again made a change in their centre position with Twanette Thoms replacing Van der Walt.
The second Powerplay was called in the last minutes of the quarter, although UJ capitalised immediately, they weren’t able to catch up to the TUT side as they ended off strong, taking their first win in this years’ edition of Varsity Netball to leave UJ lonely at bottom despite picking up a losing bonus point.
FNB Player of the Match: Happy Makofane (TUT)
Wimpy Moment Maker: Alicia Oosthuizen (UJ)
MTN Interceptor of the Match: Theoner Mthombeni (TUT)
TUT: 16 Yolanda Charles, 13 Mpho Gololo, 9 Dinah Khetsi, 11 Mpho Mabitsela, 1 Happy Makofane (captain), 10 Nkoloki Malebana, 2 Lentsamang Motau (vice-captain), 7 Theoner Mthombeni, 8 Matamela Murivhami, 6 Nozipho Nkosi, 12 Lerato Sedumedi, 4 Cindy Selwana.
Coach: Dumisani Chauke
UJ: 12 Sydney Crow, 1 Liza Kruger, 16 Nthabiseng Masehle, 8 Nompumelelo Mbonambi, 13 Beverley Moyake (vice-captain), 14 Alicia Oosthuizen, 7 Kaylin Pienaar, 10 Nobuhle Sibisi, 15 Kendra Szeles, 9 Twanette Thoms, 2 Marileé van der Walt, 5 Rykie Venter (captain).
Coach: Bongiwe Msomi
By Mary Gordon