Photo: Netball SA
Cape Winelands bagged a National Netball Championship with a hard-fought victory over Nelson Mandela Bay in the final.
Photo: Netball SA
Cape Winelands bagged a National Netball Championship with victory over Nelson Mandela Bay in the final.
Winelands bested NMB in a fast-paced final that ended 66-54 in favour of the Western Cape side.
It was the first time a team from the Cape has won a national title in six years.
The tournament was depleted by the withdrawal of defending champions Tshwane as well as Kenneth Kaunda and Mangaung due to COVID-19 infections.
Former Proteas manager Marchelle Maroun, who took charge of Winelands at short notice, lamented the withdrawals while praising her teams effort.
“It would have been nice to have tested us against Tshwane, but we couldn’t worry about the teams not here,” said Maroun. “I believe we were the best team at the tournament. I do not think the absence of Tshwane, Mangaung and Dr Kenneth Kaunda detracts from our victory.
“We were happy that we came up against strong opposition, and they (NMB) brought the best out of us. Our players took some chances, some came off, but some did not.”
Winelands captain Nicholé Taljaard was named Player of the Final and she would laud the impact of their coach who gave each player clear instructions for the final, helping them bag the title.
“At last,” said an elated Taljaard.
“I’m never taking this winner’s medal off. We’ve been in this position a few times this year, and it’s wonderful to win a title at last. We were in the finals of Varsity Netball and of the Telkom Netball League, and it’s definitely better on the winning side.”
NMB had plenty of chances to close the gap having stayed in touch well enough, but wayward shooting cost the team from the Eastern Cape.
Kenneth Kaunda’s Under-21 team managed to take the age-group championship. KK demolished a Tshwane team depleted by COVID-19 infections.