Unbeaten Zimbabwe wins netball series … Desert Jewels shake off wooden spoon tag

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Carlos Kambaekwa

Windhoek-Despite a good start in the semi-regional Debmarine Pent Netball Series, which ended in the capital yesterday, host Namibia ended a somewhat disappointing 3rd overall place in the five-day netball competition at the state-of-the-art Israel Patrick Iyambo Police College netball courts.

Zimbabwe won the competition hands down – leaving neigbours Zambia to pick up the pieces for the runner-up spot in the round robin weeklong netball tournament.

A relatively young and inexperienced Namibian side opened her assault in the tourney with a comprehensive victory over hapless Swaziland, only to stumble in their second match against the much-improved Zambia.
Namibia also failed to negotiate their way past overall winners, the slick Zimbabweans, who won all four of their matches in the round robin tourney.

Erratic shooting within striking range from inviting goal-scoring positions, worsened by poor decision-making in the third quarter saw the hosts surrender a victory that was theirs for the taking against bitter rivals Botswana.
The hosts were narrowly beaten by 40 baskets to 38 in a tightly contested final match yesterday.

Nonetheless, the fast-improving Desert Jewels finished ahead of both Botswana and Swaziland by virtue of a better goal difference, courtesy of their comprehensive triumph over Swaziland in their opening match.
All three nations finished the tourney on equal points, with one win each, but Namibia’s goal avalanche in the Swazi’s clash put them a notch above their closest rivals.

Moreover, the hastily assembled Namibian squad can take solace in the fact it has now finally shaken off the wooden spoon tag in as many recent internationals.

Namibia ended above perennial rivals Botswana and Swaziland on the log standings upon completion of the tournament that attracted good crowds since the opening day last Wednesday.

The final log standings
(1) Zimbabwe
(2) Zambia
(3) Namibia
(4) Botswana
(5) Swaziland

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