Gems finish fourth at Africa Netball Cup

Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWE Gems’ caretaker coach, Ropafadzo Mutsauki, says he was satisfied by the team’s performance at the Africa Netball Cup.

The Gems finished fourth in Cape Town, South Africa, at a tournament that featured seven countries.

Hosts South Africa were crowned the 2019 Africa Netball Cup winners after winning all their matches.

Malawi were second and Uganda third while Zimbabwe finished fourth.

The Gems ended their campaign on a losing note when they went down 46-71 to Malawi yesterday.

They were walked over by Uganda in the first game and lost to South Africa before they recovered to register three consecutive wins against Kenya, Lesotho and Zambia.

The Gems had a good start in their match yesterday, going toe-to-toe with Malawi for most of the first quarter.

But they suffered a huge blow towards the end of the quarter when goal shooter Joice Takaidza was forced out due to an injury and was replaced by Linda Nkorongo.

With their seasoned shooter out, Zimbabwe struggled to adjust and Malawi were five goals ahead by the end of the first quarter, with the score reading 16-11.

Mutsauki made a couple of changes in the second quarter as he tried to find the right combinations upfront.

He brought in Sharon Bwanali for Nkorongo.

He later settled for Nkorongo and Bwanali, which saw some improvement in the attack in the last quarter, but the damage had already been done.

Malawi extended their lead to go into half-time leading 34-19.

They carried the momentum into the third quarter and managed to hold on to their lead throughout the game despite Zimbabwe having some fine moments in the last quarter.

“Overall, the team played well, they played as team and I am very happy with the substitution, the substitutes played very well,’’ Mutsauki told SuperSport.

“At first, the team was affected very much (by the injury to Takaidza), but, as time went on, they gained confidence.”

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