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BUFFALO CITY AND NELSON MANDELA BAY DEDICATE VICTORIES TO PLAYERS LOST IN BUS CRASH

Bellville, Cape Town, South Africa: Buffalo City recorded their first win of SPAR National Netball Championships when they beat Ethekwini 43-38 at Höerskool DF Malan in Bellville on Tuesday morning.

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However, the log points were awarded to Ethekwini because Buffalo City fielded only one white player, which meant that they were non-compliant with the transformation ratio laid down by Netball South Africa (NSA). 

Team coach Zandile Njeza was philosophical about the situation, saying they had been aware that they might lose points.

“The players are mourning the three players and coach who were killed in the bus crash on Sunday,” she said.

“I told them to enjoy themselves and to play for those who didn’t make it to the tournament. They played their hearts out for their lost friends and we are happy that we won the match, even though we won’t get the points.

“We also want to show people that we deserve to be playing in the A-section.”

Nelson Mandela Bay clinched their second victory of the tournament when they beat Johannesburg 59-41 on the second day of the SPAR National Netball Championships at Höerskool DF Malan in Bellville on Tuesday.

The Eastern Cape team had the edge over the team from Gauteng for most of the match. Johannesburg fought hard, but although they drew level on 20-all midway through the second half, Nelson Mandela Bay continued to dominate, largely thanks to their outstanding goalshooter, Kaylin Coetzer, whose unerring accuracy helped her team to stay ahead of their normal rivals. 

Coach Lana Krige said she was pleased with the team’s performance.

“I am very excited by Kaylin, who is a real find. I don’t think it will be long before she is noticed,” said Krige.

She said her team were also playing for those who died, as many of them had known the deceased.

“I think Cape Winelands are going to be our biggest rivals, although we are also looking forward to playing Buffalo City, as that will be an Eastern Cape derby,” said Krige.

Cape Winelands showed that they are the team to beat in the competition, notching up their third win when they beat Cape Town 53-44 in a local derby. Winelands dominated throughout the match. They meet Nelson Mandela Bay on Wednesday in a match that is likely to be a thriller.

In other matches on Wednesday, Johannesburg take on Ethekwini and Buffalo City, Cape Town play Buffalo City and Nelson Mandela Bay play Ethekwini.