By Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwe netball team agonisingly missed out on a place in the final of the SPAR Diamond Challenge despite holding higher-ranked Scotland to a nail-biting draw 41-41 in a thrilling final round-robin game at the Rembrandt Hall at the Tuks Sports Centre in Pretoria on Friday.
The draw meant Scotland will now play hosts South Africa in Saturday’s final after edging the Zimbabwe Gems for a final berth on goal average.
Zimbabwe were made to rue their slow start in the game as they allowed Scotland to take control of the match early on.
The Gems lost the first quarter 16-10, before coming back strongly to win the second quarter 1-7.
The third quarter was shared, with nine goals each, and Zimbabwe won the final quarter 12-9.
Zimbabwe’s Goal Keeper Elizabeth Mushore was named the Player of the Match after her impressive performance at the heart of the Gems’ defence.
Zimbabwe assistant coach Wisdom Shinya said he was very happy with the way the Zimbabwe Gems came back after the first quarter.
“What we need is more consistency, and there are things we can work on,” said Shinya.
“We need to work on our speed and accuracy, but overall I am very pleased with today’s performance.”
Zimbabwe captain Felisitas Kwangwa said she was proud of the way the team had come back after a poor start.
“But we need to start better, so that we don’t spend time playing catch-up.”
Zimbabwe will now play the President’s XII in the third place playoff match at 2pm on Saturday and the final between South Africa and Scotland will be played at 4pm.