Tag: memorable matches

Memorable Matches: Zimbabwe’s debut win at 2019 Netball World Cup

WITH netball taking a back seat to coronavirus in 2020, Draft Central is taking a look at memorable matches in world netball history. Next up is Zimbabwe’s debut win at the 2019 Netball World Cup, winning their first match of the tournament against Sri Lanka, well and truly putting a stamp on the competition in their inaugural World Cup appearance. 

A remarkable first Netball World Cup outing for the Zimbabwe Gems saw the nation finish eighth on debut, stopping teams in their tracks with their intensity and excitement on court. While Zimbabwe did not fare too well against dominant netball nations, ultimately going down to five of the seven teams ranked above them – and not playing the other two – the Zimbabwean team injected plenty of flair and energy into the competition. Zimbabwe lost just the one game in the preliminary stage to Australia, but it was their opening performance against Sri Lanka which really put the nation in the spotlight.

An even start saw Zimbabwe eventually control the game, proving they would not be the easy-beats that many expected and using their full court prowess to fly down the court. While both teams had excellent goalers in their midst, Zimbabwe’s Joice Takaidza stood strong and consistent from all angles, able to assert herself on the contest with her smooth moving and exploit Sri Lanka’s weak spots with her impressive accuracy. That being said, it was not just Takaidza that dominated, with midcourter, Perpetua Siyachitema (26 goal assists, two pickups in three quarters) and defender, Felisitus Kwangwa (seven intercepts, five penalties) both crucial cogs across the court. While Sri Lanka had their own weapon in towering goal shooter Tharjini Sivalingam, the nation relied far too heavily on the tall timber who, despite still managing 44 goals at 98 per cent accuracy, did not provide the versatility Sri Lanka needed to convert their opportunities and gave up five turnovers – four from bad hands. 

Where Sri Lanka fared relatively well early, they trailed for much of the game credit to the consistency of the Zimbabwean outfit which was spurred on by the excitable crowd. A relatively even first quarter saw Zimbabwe take a five goal lead into the second, and while Sri Lanka posted 29 goals in the first half, a solid total for any team, their defence in Chathurangi Jayasooriya and Gayani Dissanayake were at a loss when it came to limiting Takaidza’s impact on the match as the Zimbabwe unit led by nine at half time. 

To Sri Lanka’s credit, the match was well and truly still within reach and they proved that in the third, limiting Zimbabwe to four goals less than both their earlier quarter tallies. However, it was Sri Lanka’s inability to cleanly and consistently turn over the ball from Zimbabwe that was their downfall, and while they managed to somewhat halt Zimbabwe in their tracks, it did not last long. The closeness of the third term did not faze the Gems, still maintaining an 11 goal lead at the final change and exploding out of the blocks in the final term to extend the lead, managing a 10-goal run to deny Sri Lanka any chance of coming back. While Zimbabwe never really looked like losing, it was that final quarter that really saw the side capitalise on Sri Lanka’s errors and wreak havoc across the court, shooting a whopping 26 goals to seven in the last to take out their inaugural Netball World Cup victory, 79-49. 

While both teams fired on all cylinders, sitting at 94 per cent (Zimbabwe) and 98 per cent (Sri Lanka) shooting accuracy, respectively, it was Zimbabwe’s ability to turn over the ball and wreak havoc on Sri Lanka’s offence that helped them to victory. Racking up 21 gains to five, Zimbabwe had total control, well and truly using Sri Lanka’s errors to their advantage as the nation racked up 38 general play turnovers. Takaidza managed a hefty total, shooting 59 goals from 62 attempts at 95 per cent while Sivalingam dominated, missing just the one goal. While Sivalingam’s partner in crime Dulangi Wannithileka only put up the five goals, she proved accurate posting all five and racking up 17 assists as she did so. Zimbabwe’s two goal attacks also proved accurate, both just missing the one goal each in their shared role. After Kwangwa, Sri Lanka’s Nauchalee Rajapakse was the only one from her team to collect an intercept with three to her name, while Zimbabwe’s Claris Kwaramba and Rudo Karume collected two apiece.

ZIMBABWE 19 | 19 | 15 | 26 (79)
SRI LANKA 14 | 15 | 13 | 7 (49)


GS: Joice Takaidza
GA: Sharon Bwanali
WA: Perpetua Siyachitema
C: Ndaizivei Madzikangava
WD: Claris Kwaramba
GD: Felisitus Kwangwa
GK: Rudo Karume

BENCH: Ursula Ndlovu, Patricia Mauladi, Sharleen Makusha, Pauline Jani, Adelaide Muskwe
COACH: Lloyd Makunde

Sri Lanka

GS: Tharjini Sivalingam
GA: Dulangi Wannithileka
WA: Thilini Waththegedera
C: Gayanjali Amarawansa
WD: Nauchalee Rajapakse
GD: Gayani Dissanayake
GK: Chathurangi Jayasooriya

BENCH: Hasitha Mendis, Deepika Abeykoon, Dharshika Abeywickrema, Dulanga Ambeygoda, Elilenthinie Sethukavalar
COACH: Deepthi Alwis



Joice Takaidza 59/62
Ursula Ndlovu 14/15
Sharon Bwanali 6/7


Tharjini Sivalingam 44/45
Dulangi Wannithileka 5/5

Memorable Matches: Roses make history with 2018 Commonwealth Games gold

WITH netball taking a back seat to the coronavirus in 2020, Draft Central is taking a look at memorable matches in world netball history. Next up is England’s inaugural Commonwealth Games gold, defeating Australia by one goal on home soil in 2018.

A memorable match for many Aussies – and not in a good way, the 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medal match was one for the ages as England quite literally pipped Australia at the post to reign supreme. While Australia led the competition in majority of the stats, this was England’s opportunity to topple to Diamonds for the first time and they were not about to let their greatest gold medal chance slip away. England may have been the underdogs, playing in their first ever Commonwealth Games gold medal match, but it was that goal which saw the Roses turn it out on Australian soil.

With ultimately one of the greatest lineups England has ever hand – perhaps only rivalled by their current list – they were just too strong for the overconfident Diamonds who faltered at the final hurdle and could not compete with the tenacious Roses when it came down to the nitty-gritty. For the Diamonds, the match came down to extensive rotations which the side had dealt with throughout the entire tournament. The Roses however came in with a different mindset, only rotating as they saw fit and able to form a consistent barrier against the formidable Aussies. 

It was an even start by both teams, with neither team really able to find much momentum such was the impact all 14 players were having on court. The two sides were evenly matched with both goal keepers in Laura Geitz and Geva Mentor forming tough barriers in their respective circles. Mentor racked up a whopping 12 gains throughout the match, putting on a clinic with her cleanliness and the ease with which she found the ball, using goal shooter Caitlin Bassett’s consistency against her. Geitz and April Brandley were solid as ever, fairly clean in their defence and finding plenty of loose ball. 

While Australia started out clean, not finding much whistle, the two sides evened up as the match went on, seeing the Roses clean up their act and forcing errors from the Diamonds who seemed out of sorts with the closeness of the game – which saw both teams even at 25 goals apiece at half-time. Liz Watson entered the game to take on the likes of Serena Guthrie, providing some real gut-running against the star centre. While it took some pressure off the attack with Watson’s quick hands doing wonders, Guthrie’s overall athleticism is tough to overcome while her immense endurance saw the midcourter continue to ply her trade and propel the ball back up the court.

The Diamonds got back into the groove in the third but while they had the goals on the board, the side seemed out of sorts thanks to the constant pressure applied down the court from the Roses. That being said, Australia’s full court defensive pressure impressed with just the four goalers not picking up gains – but it was the constant changing of goalers that seemed to work in England’s favour.

For the Roses, there were little changes throughout, with only some small impact options taking the court to ply their trade. Goalers, Jo Harten and Helen Housby were consistent from the start and had a couple of patches where their defenders were on top, namely the beginning of the first and third quarters thanks to Australia’s rotation for fresh feet in Courtney Bruce and Jo Weston, but ultimately continued to ply their trade and coming into the final quarter were well aware of what had to be done to win the game despite a slower third term.

Full credit has to be given to England’s final quarter effort, shooting 16 goals to overcome Australia’s three quarter time lead and forcing error upon error from the Diamonds. England was just much cleaner with ball in hand, treasuring possession where Australia seemed to throw away far more ball than their typical game. Australia all but fell apart in the final term, collecting a whopping 25 penalties – 22 contacts – compared to England’s 10 overall. When you compare that number to Australia’s seven penalties overall in the first quarter, it’s hard to not think of what could have been if the consistency had remained from the beginning to end.

It was a goal on the buzzer from Housby which cemented the win for England, making history as the Roses collected their first Commonwealth gold, well and truly earning the win against the reigning champions, 52-51. At the post, Harten topscored with 34 goals at 87 per cent accuracy, while Bassett was not quite as influential with 22 goals from 24 attempts – though she did miss out on the third quarter. Housby came in next with 18 goals while Steph Wood and Susan Pettitt shot 12 and 11 goals respectively to provide another option in the circle. 

The consistency of Gabi Simpson was impressive, with the athletic midcourt defender the only Aussie to play out the full 60 minutes. Simpson used every inch of her pressure to impact on the Roses’ ability to find the goal circle, impeding former Australian representative Chelsea Pitman from finding avenues to the ring and providing impressive speed and pressure up the court. Pitman racked up 18 goal assists from 28 feeds, while Watson was not far behind with 17 assists from 27, only having played the three quarters. Geitz racked up five gains in her half on court and was well and truly missed in the final quarter, while Simpson’s consistency and pressure saw her collect four gains and Guthrie three with her threatening speed.

AUSTRALIA 14 | 11 | 13 | 13 (51)
ENGLAND 13 | 12 | 11 | 16 (52)


GS: Caitlin Bassett
GA: Susan Pettitt
WA: Madi Robinson
C: Kim Ravaillion
WD: Gabi Simpson
GD: April Brandley
GK: Laura Geitz

BENCH: Caitlin Thwaites, Courtney Bruce, Liz Watson, Jo Weston, Steph Wood
COACH: Lisa Alexander


GS: Jo Harten
GA: Helen Housby
WA: Chelsea Pitman
C: Serena Guthrie
WD: Beth Cobden
GD: Eboni Usoro-Brown
GK: Geva Mentor

BENCH: Ama Agbeze, Nat Haythorthwaite, Jodie Gibson, Jade Clarke, Kadeen Corbin
COACH: Tracey Neville



Caitlin Bassett 22/24
Steph Wood 12/14
Susan Pettitt 11/12
Caitlin Thwaites 6/6


Jo Harten 34/39
Helen Housby 18/21

Memorable Matches: South Africa defeat Jamaica – NWC 2019

WITH netball taking a back seat to coronavirus in 2020, Draft Central is taking a look at memorable matches in world netball history. Next up is South Africa SPAR Proteas’ stellar three goal victory over Jamaica at the 2019 Netball World Cup. Then world number two nation, Jamaica lost to the Spar Proteas for only the third time, seeing South Africa top Pool C heading into the preliminary rounds.

It was a spectacular start that kept the Proteas ahead from the get-go, limiting every opportunity the Sunshine Girls had to get goals and the board and forcing plenty of errors. While Jamaica has a wealth of talent bookending the court, where they lack some star-power is through the midcourt which is where they were well and truly beaten by South Africa.

The first half went all the way of the South Africans, leading by more than 10 goals at the main change. While it was partially down to the impressive scoreboard pressure the Proteas applied, full credit had to go to the defensive efforts of Karla Pretorius and Phumza Maweni, with the pair denying every opportunity into the goal circle. Where Jhaniele Fowler is a major target at the post for Jamaica, Maweni well and truly shut her down while Pretorius kept the likes of Shanice Beckford away from her range.

Pretorius racked up three intercepts and four gains throughout. A real workhorse through the middle of the court, Erin Burger impressed with her ability to impact on and off the ball and propel the play forward, with Bongi Msomi doing what she does best in attack, running laps around her opposition to hand ball on a silver platter to Lenize Potgieter, who shot 19 goals alone in the first half – only two less than the Sunshine Girls did overall. 

But while the first half was all down to South Africa, Jamaica came out flying to well and truly outscore the Proteas in the second half. A massive 17 goal to 10 third quarter allowed the Sunshine Girls to power their way back into the game, only down by four goals by the final change. Burger was well matched in the second half by Nicole Dixon in at centre, while Vangelle Williams did whatever was necessary to limit Msomi’s impact by blocking her every move – but racking up the penalties as she did so, collecting 16 penalties out at wing defence, only two and one less than respective goal keepers, Sterling (19) and Maweni (18). Khadijah Williams racked up the 21 goal assists to form a threatening combination with Beckford feeding into the circle, racking up 12 alone in the second half.

Where goal keeper Shamera Sterling had a messy first half she cleaned up her act later, only picking up the eight penalties in the second half to pull back the margin, but was not entirely able to limit Potgieter’s silky movement at the post. Sterling only picked up the two intercepts across the entire game, with South Africa aware of the goal keeper’s ability to pluck ball out of the air with ease and able to poke holes in the defensive play.

Fowler dominated at the post with ease in the second half, drawing penalties from the long-limbed Maweni and shooting 23 goals at 100 per cent accuracy to keep Jamaica in the game. It was South Africa’s dominant defensive effort that kept them afloat even when Jamaica came out flying in the second half, with five Proteas collecting an intercept to their name. Where the Proteas racked up elements of defensive pressure, they also kept down the penalties, maintaining the defensive without the physicality. 

The last quarter was neck and neck with neither side really able to grab the momentum, seeing the score see-saw as each team took advantage of their centre pass. But a vital turnover or two allowed South Africa to always stay one step ahead of Jamaica, never conceding a goal for the Sunshine Girls to take the lead. While the defensive pressure was what saw the game come down to the close margin in the end, the phenomenal scoreboard pressure applied by both goal shooters saw the game come down to the wire with little to separate the two stars.

Fowler missed just the one goal all match for 38 goals at 97 per cent accuracy, while Potgieter was just as solid with 36 from 39 attempts. Their respective goal attacks in Beckford and Maryka Holtzhausen were not quite as accurate, shooting at 74 and 66 per cent respectively, but it was their ability to evade their opposition and assist their goal shooter that allowed them both to still have an impact.

JAMAICA 9 | 12  | 17 | 12 (52)
SOUTH AFRICA 16 | 16 | 10 | 13 (55) 


GS: Jhaniele Fowler
GA: Shanice Beckford
WA: Khadijah Williams
C: Nicole Dixon
WD: Vangelee Williams
GD: Stacian Facey
GK: Shamera Sterling

BENCH: Adean Thomas, Jodiann Ward, Romelda Aiken, Kadie-Ann Dehaney, Rebekah Robinson
COACH: Marvette Anderson, Sasher-Gaye Henry


South Africa

GS: Lenize Potgieter
GA: Maryka Holtzhausen
WA: Bongiwe Msomi
C: Erin Burger
WD: Khanyisa Chawane
GD: Karla Pretorius
GK: Phumza Maweni

BENCH: Shadine van der Merwe, Sigi Burger, Izette Griesel, Renske Stoltz, Zanele Vimbela
COACH: Norma Plummer


Jhaniele Fowler 38/39
Shanice Beckford 14/19

South Africa
Lenize Potgieter 36/39
Maryka Holtzhausen 19/29

Memorable matches: Silver Ferns defeat Diamonds in double extra-time – 2010 Commonwealth Games

WITH netball taking a back seat to coronavirus in 2020, Draft Central is taking a look back at memorable matches. Next up is the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medal match in Delhi, India, which saw the 100th test match between the Australian Diamonds and New Zealand Silver Ferns finish in magnificent fashion. For many Australian netball fans, this week’s memorable match is one that would be better left forgotten, with a devastating result for the Diamonds but the ultimate victory for the Ferns.

The two sides were unable to be split from the early stages and though Australia seemed to have the momentum, New Zealand never let up in their tough approach and whittled down the margin bit by bit to keep the Diamonds on their toes. With scores locked at 47 apiece at the end of regular time and the Diamonds fighting from seven goals down in the final term, the match would go on to be one of the longest ever official matches coming to 84 minutes in double extra-time.

Defensively the Aussies were on fire early, with Mo’onia Gerrard leading from the front, collecting loose ball left, right and centre, while Susan Fuhrmann stayed back in the goal circle keeping a crucial eye on Irene van Dyk. But while van Dyk was kept quiet, only shooting the 25 goals, Maria Folau had something to prove, providing that crucial long-range shot to shoot up a storm from anywhere in the circle. Folau finished the match with a whopping 41 goals from 50 attempts, well and truly dominating at the post with her silky movement and ability to not just finish plays, but also create them.

For the Diamonds, captain Sharelle McMahon had a stellar start credit to her cleanliness with ball in hand and quick footwork, aided by Lauren Nourse and Nat Medhurst out in goal attack, with the goaling duo influential against the Ferns’ defensive unit which had a slow start. But as it goes with the likes of Casey Kopua and Katrina Rore, they can never be discredited with the work they do off the ball, working their way into the game and proving to be a massive defensive threat to the Diamonds at the post on every opportunity later in the game to close the margin.

Through the midcourt, Renae Ingles was on fire in the first half blocking Temepara Bailey at every turn and using her hands over pressure and bodywork to force errors which the Diamonds took advantage of, seeing a combined eight crucial deflections from Gerrard and Fuhrmann. New Zealand centre Laura Langman was her usual workhorse self, constantly there to apply pressure on Natalie Bode in centre and create that run down the middle of the court.  The change through the midcourt in the second half had an immediate impact, with Anna Scarlett and Liana Leota replacing Joline Henry and Bailey respectively.

While Australia was ahead for majority of the early stages of the match, New Zealand flipped the switch in the third to lead at three quarter time, leading 35-33 after the major switch up to the midcourt unit saw the Diamonds fade away as tiredness began to set in. Cath Cox and Kim Green entered the court in the final term to have an immediate impact, pairing well with McMahon who topscored for the Diamonds with 30 goals at 88 per cent accuracy. The trio’s ability to move through the space was second to none, while Cox and McMahon’s experience together and respective ability to split and evade their opposition saw the unit play out the rest of the match – almost 25 more minutes than a regular game. 

Painful to watch for so many as the clock wound down in the second half of overtime, Australia had its chances to collect the win but the Ferns were just relentless in their pursuit for their second Commonwealth gold, denying Cox a goal to win the match and daring to go into double extra time, with the clock essentially stopped until one team was two goals ahead.

With the overall game time edging over 80 minutes and the two sides still going goal for goal, a final shot from Folau saw the Ferns take out the game with a crucial -and her specialty – long-range shot that rang true to finish in the most dramatic of fashions, ending with the ultimate celebration for the Ferns and devastation for the Aussies, 66-64. The gold medal match came to a head to be one of the greatest matches in recent history between the Trans-Tasman rivals.

AUSTRALIA 10 | 13 | 10 | 14 (47)
Extra time: 6 | 5 (58) | 6 (64)

NEW ZEALAND 9 | 11 | 15 | 12 (47)
Extra time: 5 | 6 (58) | 8 (66)


GS: Sharelle McMahon
GA: Nat Medhurst
WA: Lauren Nourse
C: Natalie Bode
WD: Renae Ingles
GD: Mo’onia Gerrard
GK: Susan Fuhrmann

BENCH: Cath Cox, Kim Green, Bec Bulley, Laura Geitz, Susan Pettitt
COACH: Norma Plummer

New Zealand
GS: Irene van Dyk
GA: Maria Folau
WA: Temepara Bailey
C: Laura Langman
WD: Joline Henry
GD: Casey Kopua
GK: Katrina Rore

BENCH: Anna Scarlett, Liana Leota (Nee Barrett-Chase), Leana de Bruin, Grace Rasmussen
COACH: Ruth Aitken


Cath Cox 20/26
Sharelle McMahon 30/34
Nat Medhurst 14/18

New Zealand:
Maria Folau 41/50
Irene van Dyk 25/29

Memorable Matches: Malawi shocks New Zealand at 2018 Commonwealth Games

WITH netball taking a back seat to coronavirus in 2020, Draft Central is taking a look at memorable matches in world netball history. Next up is the Malawi Queens’ massive four-goal win over New Zealand Silver Ferns at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

It was a typically strong start from the rebuilding Ferns in their pool match against Malawi on the Gold Coast but it was the Queens’ spirit and determination that came out the true winner with a massive second half – aided by a 17 goals to nine third quarter – that awarded them their biggest win in Commonwealth Games history.

The Ferns came out firing early, shooting 18 goals to 11 in the first quarter and extending a solid lead thanks to the shooting pairing of Maria Folau and Te Paea Selby-Rickit. Folau played her typical moving role out in goal attack, dominating the scoreboard with her ability to turn and shoot while a combination of Sam Sinclair and Grace Kara held ground on circle edge, unfazed by their respective opposition in Takondwa Lwazi and Malawi captain, Joanna Kachilika. But while the first quarter went all in the way of the Ferns, the Queens were not going to back down, holding up better in the second to control ball movement better, seeing both sides score 14 goals apiece to still be down by seven at the main break. 

It seemed that anything Folau could do, superstar shooter Mwai Kumwenda could do better, dominating the scoreboard with speed, consistency and accuracy to boot, with the side not backing down and holding up relatively well against every defender the Ferns threw at them – of which there were many, with the Ferns rotating players constantly. While the defensive unit’s constant changing made it harder for Malawi to keep up with their fresh legs, it also allowed the Queens to gain the upper hand in other areas, such as their consistency, which was well and truly proven in the second half. 

Where New Zealand let go in the second half, Malawi fired up, dominating the quarter to take the lead 42-41 at the final change. Their challenge came at the right time, kicking the Ferns while they were down and poking at every hole in their game plan. While Bridget Kumwenda was kept quiet early, she stood her ground in wing attack to propel the ball into the goal circle, as defensively the work from Loreen Ngwira and Towera Vinkhumbo was spectacular, with the pair relentless. Ngwira and Vinkhumbo picked up plenty of attention from the umpires but shook the Ferns while they were at it, with the Ferns making uncharacteristic errors around the court, racking up 29 penalties and seven turnovers in the second half compared to Malawi’s 18 and four. 

Malawi were clinical with ball in hand, not wasting any time against the Ferns which have an ability to bounce back when least expecting it, controlling the netball across the court and patiently upholding their lead in the final quarter, not allowing New Zealand to take back momentum. A 15 goals to 12 final quarter effort cemented it for the Malawi Queens, defeating the Ferns 57-53 and going down as a history-making match, with the nation never having beaten New Zealand.

Mwai Kumwenda was the star of the show, shooting 41 goals from 46 attempts at 89 per cent, aided by Jane Chimaliro with 16 from 20. Lwazi was crucial in at centre, racking up 25 goal assists and two intercepts, while Ngwira and Vinkhumbo joined forces to collect three intercepts and two deflections to go with  a combined six rebounds. For the Ferns, Folau and Kara formed a constant threat in attack, with Folau shooting 31 goals at 79 per cent while Kara collected 26 assists on circle edge. Selby-Rickit racked up 15 goals from her two quarters on the court and Bailey Mes seven from 12, but defensively Temalisi Fakahokotau did much the same down the other end, racking up a whopping 18 penalties despite only playing in the first and final quarters. Captain Katrina Rore, Kelly Jury and Michaela Sokolich-Beatson also took their turn in the ring but to no avail, unable to outwit the clever and speedy Queens.

This win saw New Zealand knocked out of the running for a gold medal match for the first time in Commonwealth Games history, placing fourth overall and resulting in the resignation of then-head coach Janine Southby