BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO
THE Zimbabwe senior netball team, the Gems, completed their Confederation of Southern Africa Netball Association (Cosana) campaign with a 45-41 victory over Namibia in Malawi
This was the second victory for the Gems after their first win in the opening match against Namibia on Sunday.
Yesterday’s win came as a relief for the Gems who went on a four-match losing streak, once against Namibia and thrice against the hosts.
Malawi dominated the tournament where they went unbeaten.
In yesterday’s match, the Gems had a good start managing to lead 7-2 at one point in the first quarter but Namibia who wanted a win at all cost fought back, capitalising on the Gems mistakes and finished the first quarter both teams tied on 11 points.
The second quarter saw the two teams going at each other but Gems managed to create a good gap and finished leading 27-18.
The Gems maintained the lead in the third quarter which ended 35-27 before sealing their victory by just three points ahead of the Desert Jewels.
Speaking after the match, the Gems assistant coach Tatenda Shinya said he was impressed by the team’s performance, but angered by the poor match officiating.
“Firstly, I would like to say there is no bad win. I am happy with the win and so are the players, but I just want to say Namibia have to work harder because they always get the help from the officials. I think the officials played a big part in the second half, so I am sure if we hadn’t played a bit physically, we could have lost because the officials were on their side,” Shinya said.
“We have a good picture though we still have a lot to learn and we need to work extra hard if we are to qualify for the World Cup. We need to strengthen our team, especially in the midfield.”
He promised the team’s followers that they will win a ticket to the World Cup.
“We just want to assure Zimbabweans that we are going to qualify for the World Cup without fail and we thank them for the support — our government and our sponsors SPAR Zimbabwe. We are happy they are helping us to reach this position,” Shinya said.
The Gems are expected to tour the United Kingdom between July 17 and 24 where they will play against some of the nations that will be playing at the Commonwealth Games.
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