With five wins from two consecutive weekend fixtures in the FNB Varsity Netball tournament, the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Senior Women’s Netball Team pulled a strong comeback from how they started the competition. UJ shocked Stellenbosch University ladies (SU-Maties) in their own territory when they snatched 35-32 victory at the Coetzenburg Indoor Centre in Stellenbosch on Sanday, 03 September 2023. The Orange Army went on to win convincingly against the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in the second encounter the following day.
The Orange Army has booked a spot in the 2023 FNB Varsity Netball tournament for the second time in the history of the UJ Netball Club. They will play the North West University ladies on Monday, 11 September 2023 at the UJ Stadium, while the University of Pretoria and Stellenbosch will lock horns in Tshwane at Tuks Stadium.
The match started with a high intensity and with both teams looking towards a very important victory. Maties looked in control in the first quarter, capitalising on errors from UJ and grabbing a handful of good intercepts. Zanele Mdodana’s charges ended the first quarter with a 12-8 marginal lead over UJ.
The second quarter brought the fire from the Orange Army as they were playing catchup. UJ looked to be a better side the first few minutes as Muhluri Hlatshwayo gave her side hope as the two sides levelled things up just two minutes before the halftime break. However, Maties proved to be the better side as the match went to the halftime break with the hosts leading by 19-18.
UJ managed to recover and overcome the noise from the home crowd in the third quarter. Bongiwe Msomi’s side gave a strong fight to keep Maties on their toes throughout the quarter, taking the match to a 28-all tie.
The Orange Army decided to turn things up another notch in the final quarter to show why they were in third position on the log before the two matches in Stellenbosch. Hlatshwayo’s goals and Owethu Ngubane who plays for the Proteas, were the difference as the Johannesburg side walked away with all the points.
Quarter scores: 8-12 / 18-19 / 28-28 / 35-32
Owethu Ngubane (UJ player) was voted the FNB Player of the Match against SU-Maties for her impressive performances to help UJ win the match. During the UJ-SU match, Ngubane received 13 centre passes, scored 12 goals out of 16 attempts, and had a 75 goal percentage.
UJ cruised through the second match against UWC in Stellenbosch, winning it by 70-40 final score. The Orange Army led throughout the match, ending the opening quarter with a 18-13 score, 34-20 at the halftime break, 55-24 in the third quarter and 70-40 final score.
UJ’s Henlize Basson was voted Player of the Match for her sterling exploits against UWC.