Uganda senior women’s netball team, She Cranes upset South Africa 54-48 to claim fifth spot at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Friday.
The two nations have met 16 times before with South Africa enjoying the lion’s share of wins. South Africa are ranked fifth in the world while Uganda are one position below at sixth.
South African coach Dorette Badenhorst started the match with the same seven she played on Thursday against Scotland.
Uganda narrowly took the first quarter 15-13 and then extended their lead to 30-21 in the second,
South Africa showed more hunger, drive and determination in the third quarter and coach Badenhorst moved Shadine van der Merwe to the goal defence position in the place of Zanele Vimbela.
The combination of Lefebre Rademan and Ine Mari Venter upfront seemed to do the trick for South Africa as they worked hard to reduce the lead. However, their resurgence was short lived as Rademan got injured after just five minutes. Elmere van der Berg was then introduced into the game and South Africa managed to win the quarter 16-11 to shave Uganda’s lead to just four goals. (37-41).
Meanwhile, for She Cranes, Mary Nuba Cholhok scored 31 goals while Irene Eyaru contributed 21 and Shadia Nassanga added two more in a historical win.
One would have expected South Africa to come into the last quarter just as fired up as they were in the third, however their errors worked against them and allowed the Uganda She Cranes an opportunity to run away with the match and claim their highest ever finish at the Commonwealth Games.
South Africa finished fifth at the previous Commonwealth Games Down Under, but had to settle for sixth this time around.
However, it’s Uganda who finish fifth this time round.