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Gumede spearheads South African netballers into fifth

02 August 2002

South Africa win by a 56-goal haul from towering shooter Sindisiwe Gumede to claim fifth position with a 71-27 victory over Wales.

Sarah Louise Hale

Wales' Sarah Louise Halle in action

Gumede, standing at a giant 195cm, singlehandedly destroyed the Welsh contingent,netting 18 goals from 20 attempts in the opening term as South Africa compiled a match-winning 21-4 quarter-time advantage.

Gumede is the competition’s leading goal scorer with 253 goals.

In the second quarter Wales introduced Jamilla Harris to the goal circle with instant impact. She converted 8/10 in that term.

South Africa, led by wing attack Liezel Wium was creative in attack and provided countless opportunities for Gumede. South Africa led 39-13 at half-time.

Wales, despite trailing 21-56 at three quarter-time, fought back in the last quarter but their efforts were often curtailed on the last line by South African goal-circle defenders Alicia Senekal and Nomthandazo Ntlama.

South African captain Mable Van Der Vyver said afterwards: “There was less pressure today. We were able to stick to our plan and everything went well.”

“We are a little disappointed that we lost to Jamaica and didn’t make the semis but nobody expected too much of us so I think we have done really well.”

Wales, however, realised their pre-Games goal of a top-six finish.

The Welsh goal defender, Sarah-Louise Hale said:

“Our aim was to come sixth, which we’ve done. We’re really pleased with the result because a lot of people didn’t think we could do it.

“I didn’t think I’d play very much but I played every game. I’ve learnt a lot about how other countries play and what you’ve got to do to combat that. I’ve played against the best in the world and that’s been a real honour.”

Welsh goal keeper Emma Blanks said: “We’re a bit disappointed. We thought we could have performed better against them but we are pleased with our performance generally in the tournament.

“Eight of the teams are all ranked above us and we still managed to come sixth which shows how we’ve improved with every game especially our performance against New Zealand.”

Info News Service/mb/vh/nt

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