Dinaletsana’s promising run at the just ended 2017 Netball World Youth Cup (NWYC) yielded a disappointing 10th place finish when their play and guile deserved more.
Botswana lost the final match 56-41 to Zimbabwe in the first netball world cup to be played in Africa. Out of 20 participating countries, Botswana was 10th after narrowly failing to proceed to the quarter finals due to a lesser goal ratio compared to their opponents, Uganda and Jamaica.
They started the tournament with a 72-26 win over Malaysia before accounting for Cook Islands 51-41 loss. Uganda halted the Dinaletsana’s winning run, with a 46-42 win before the local girls recorded a stunning 48-46 win over Jamaica in the final group stage match. But the result between Uganda and Jamaica did not go Botswana’s way, meaning the hosts had to battle for position nine to 16 with the other teams.
Position nine was the target in a reconfigured Pool H, where the team won both matches to set up a date against Zimbabwe in a battle for ninth and 10th. But after an error strewn game, Botswana succumbed to Zimbabwe to finish 10th. Zimbabwe managed to hold the lead through all the four quarters. Compared to other games, their match against Zimbabwe was lethargic, as the team looked tired and had a lot of injuries.
On the other hand, Zimbabwe’s performance was outstanding compared
It is a great achievement even though we lost our last game which we wanted to win and be in position nine after what my team has displayed throughout the tournament. I wish the technical team can do something with this team to keep them moving,” Botswana coach, Setshedi Botlhole Mmopi said. She said their goals has been achieved which was not only to participate but to perform to their level best and make Batswana proud.
Zimbabwean coach, Pepe Mutsaudi could not hide her happiness while talking to the media at the end of the game. She said to be in position nine in the whole world is a dream come true for their side.
“The team really wanted to be in position nine after failing to be in the top eight and we had a game plan to Botswana because we have watched them play before and they are good. However, we managed to beat them which was part of the plan from the beginning,” she said.