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World Championships Singapore. Botswana face home favourites in first draw
The opening ceremony may have been a beautiful display of the incredible talent and culture Singapore has to offer, but it was the first clash of the Mission Foods World Netball Championship 2011 Singapore that the sporting spectacle that is Netball truly began.
The vocal crowd were in the hard fought game from the outset as a deafening cheer went up for Singapore when they slotted the first goal… BUT it was the animated Botswana crowd who were on their feet throughout as their team edged ahead slowly but surely to secure a convincing win over the host nation 43 to 36.
Inspired by singing their own national anthem the girls in blue were out to prove they have the skills to be fierce competitors as they moved quick on attack and were dynamic on defence. Goal Shoot Tebogo Radispotsane was a standout player for Botswana, her ability to pull the ball in from anywhere and her impeccable shooting statistics (20/22 91%) meant that captain and Goal Attack Portia Rasekhumba could be the play maker out the front, directing pin-point accurate passes into the circle.
On defence, Botswana was equally impressive, snatching intercepts throughout the court. Playing a starring role down that end of the court was Player of the Match, Kagisano Mawela, her pressure over the shot played pivotal to putting off the Singapore shooters who struggled for accuracy throughout.
Singapore, although defeated, did not give up and stayed on par with Botswana in both the 1st and last quarters. They showed some moments of brilliance on defence, especially in the fourth where they successfully managed to ebb the flow of Botswana’s attack by applying a solid zone. Coach Kate Carpenter and Captain Jean Ng both thought they had more to offer, especially on attack as their shooting end could not sink the goals.
“We didn’t have enough forward momentum and our unforced errors were too high” Carpenter disclosed, “so now we have to focus on the positives and take them into the next game.”
For the first game of the Mission Foods World Netball Championship we witnessed an exhibition of exciting Netball! What will tomorrow bring as many more countries go head to head!