Stunning finish for Zimbabwe as New Zealand are crowned champions

Stunning finish for Zimbabwe as New Zealand are crowned champions
Published: 22 July 2019 (1296 Views)
It was the end of an intriguing world cup at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool where eight teams showcased their last and best performances of the world cup.

It started with Zimbabwe's Gems taking on the She Cranes of Uganda which was really an enticing match to watch but Uganda was the stronger opponent from the start and ended up winning the match by 11 points, 58 - 47.

After the match Uganda's Mary Nuba said, "it's been amazing, and so competitive from day one Africa is rising." Zimbabwe's Ursula Ndlovu also conveyed her notion, "we tried hard to match them but the best thing is to motivate ourselves with doing the best we can do."

Zimbabwe's president Emmerson Mnangagwa, was seemingly supporting from the commencement of the tourney till today through social media. Zimbabwe's minister of sport Kirsty Coventry congratulated the Gems for having finished in the top eight despite losing to Uganda, "I am very proud of our Zimbabwe netball team who(sic) finished 8th at the Netball World Cup."

In another thrilling encounter, Jamaica's last three wins in the previous tourneys against Malawi's Queens proved to be vital as they easily outmanoeuvred the Queens 68 - 50 to secure the fifth place of the world cup.

Jamaica's captain Jhaniele Fowler who was also celebrating her 30th birthday today said, "I wanted a medal for my birthday, but unfortunately I got fifth we had a few turnovers, a lot of things caused us to perform and be where we are at the moment."

The last playoffs match for the third and fourth post saw the Proteas taking on England's Roses who were also the hosts. The match started on a high note with the Proteas trying to write their wrongs after yesterday's narrow defeat of 53 - 55 to Australia and the Roses wanted to give something to their fans.

England's Commonwealth gold medal which they won last year in May did not seem to intimidate or disparage the Proteas as they had only one thing on their minds which is winning.

However, fate had other plans for the Proteas who unfortunately succumbed to a 42 - 58 loss to the Roses who eventually became the bronze medalists.

The last and highly anticipated match of the match proved to be a real grand finale which saw the Silver Ferns of New Zealand and the Diamonds of Australia going head to head.

The Diamonds came to the match with 11 netball silverwares already in their cabinet and the last time the Silver Ferns had beaten the Diamonds was in 2003 at the netball world cup in Kingston Jamaica.

However, history repeated itself as the Silver Ferns managed to win their fifth world cup since it's inception in 1963 after having edged the Diamonds by one point, 52 - 51 a slightly similar scenario with the 2003 tourney where they edged the Diamonds by two points 49 - 47. Noeline Taurua, New Zealand's coach had this to say after the match, "I am quite speechless, I don't know what to say our fossils stood up for us today for us to come out and win this, it's huge for our netball community and for New Zealand."

Molly Rhone, president of the International Netball Federation also conveyed her closing remarks, "what an amazing tournament this has been, congratulations especially to our winners, the Silver Ferns, what a thrilling final that was."

Tharjini Sivalinga of Sri Lanka     was the tournament's top goal scorer with 348 goals. South Africa's Lenize Potgieter was third with 243, Malawi's Joyce Mvula fourth with 216, Zimbabwe's Joice Takaidza was in sixth with 198 and Uganda's Peace Proscovia on ninth position with 170 goals.    

All of Africa's participating teams managed to finish in the top eight with the Proteas securing the fourth position, Queens sixth, She Cranes seventh and Gems eighth which will also help them with their world rankings. The next netball world cup will be held in 2023 Cape Town, South Africa.

- Daniel Itai

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