Thistles finish second
The Scottish Thistles finished second place in SPAR Diamond Challenge today after a gritty fight with South Africa ended 54-36 to the hosts.
The teams went goal for goal in the first quarter, with the South Africa winning the quarter 10-8.
However, five minutes into the second quarter, the Thistles drew level on 13-all and then went into the lead for the first time after a tactical change in the shooting circle.
They maintained the lead for much of the quarter before a flurry of goals saw the SPAR Proteas claw their way back into the lead ahead again, for a halftime score of 23-20.
Captain Claire Maxwell comments on the ability of South Africa to turn the game around in the last quarter.
“Their speed on the transition was lightning fast and I think they got their center pass structures back towards the end. For us it’s just about slowing them down and making sure we play our style of the game and when we do win ball we punish them at the other end.”
It was a fast-paced match, with both sides achieving several turnovers, which sent the spectators into ecstasy. There were also several errors on both sides, but both teams left the court believing they had benefited from the match.
Thistles coach Tamsin Greenway was delighted with Scotland’s performance.
“We went out hard because we were the underdogs and had nothing to lose. They started so well, and I have said to them that they need to learn to play as they did in the first half for the whole match.”
“We’ve learnt so much from this tournament and we now believe we have the ability to challenge other teams. We were too slow against Zimbabwe yesterday, but we really attacked today. Now we need to work on our fitness levels.”
Vice Captain, Emily Nicholl adds;
“We always knew we had that performance in us. Now we know what we need to work on, and that’s the really exciting part.”
Claire Maxwell, wing defense was named player of the match for her relentless effort throughout the match. Commenting after the match she said;
“It has been great to come out here and compete against such strong opposition. I think we showed for much of the match that we can compete with the best.”
“But now it’s time to go home and work on pushing ourselves to produce a full 60 minutes performance.”
Iona Christian, who plays wing-attack and center was named center court player of the tournament.
South Africa vs Scotland
Q1: South Africa 10 – 8 Scotland
Q2: South Africa 24 – 20 Scotland
Q3: South Africa 35 – 28 Scotland
Q4: South Africa 54 – 36 Scotland
Full replay is available on Netball Scotland Recast channel – https://watch.recast.tv/user/GyY0m