Lenize Potgieter of South Africa during the Spar Challenge match between South Africa and England at Bellville Velodrome in Cape Town, December 1 2019. Picture: ASHLEY VLOTMAN/GALLO IMAGES
Lenize Potgieter of South Africa during the Spar Challenge match between South Africa and England at Bellville Velodrome in Cape Town, December 1 2019. Picture: ASHLEY VLOTMAN/GALLO IMAGES

SA salvaged some pride with a convincing 54-48 win over England in the third and final match of the Spar Challenge International Netball Series at the Bellville Velodrome on Sunday.

The Netball Proteas went into the match in danger of suffering the embarrassment of being whitewashed at home‚ but they recovered in style from two successive defeats to end the series on a high note.

The England Roses will return home as 2-1 series winners but SA coach Dorette Badenhorst will take positives going into their next assignment in the Netball Nations Cup against Jamaica‚ New Zealand and hosts England in January in Birmingham.

Badenhorst said they did not keep possession and lacked cohesion in the two defeats‚ but she was happy that inexperienced Lefebre Rademan and Monique Reyneke received opportunities against strong opposition.

The SA coach will also be happy that defender Phumza Maweni is back to full fitness and captain Bongi Msomi‚ Shadine van der Merwe‚ Khanyisa Chawane‚ Lenize Potgieter and Zanele Vimbela spent valuable minutes on the court.

They were tested to their limits by an industrious England side led by Natalie Haythornthwaite that dominated the first two matches.

With this victory SA managed their second win over England after six matches in 2019 and they will travel to the Netball Nations Cup in January with confidence that they can beat some top-ranked sides.

Started with purpose

At the end of the series SA’s Shadine van der Merwe and Lenize Potgieter were named Most Valuable Player and Accurate Shooter of the Tournament respectively while England’s Stacey Francis was named the Best Defender. England captain Natalie Haythornthwaite was named the Centre Play Player of the Tournament.

SA started the match with purpose as Ine-Mari Venter and Lenize Potgieter put the England defence under pressure, and they led by six goals after 11 minutes.

At the end of the first quarter SA were leading 16-10 after creating most of the chances‚ but England did not make it any easier through attacks from Sophie Drakeford-Lewis and George Fisher.

The Proteas went to the half-time break leading 27-21 after a period of sustained pressure.

England fought back and levelled the score at 35-35 shortly after half-time but SA managed to pull away and they went into the last quarter leading 41-36.

In the last quarter SA continued to lead and they ultimately pulled off a morale-boosting win.