Steep learning curve for Namibian netball
28 March 2021 | Sports
Namibia led 26-17 at halftime.
Namibia started off strongly and at one stage were five goals ahead in the first quarter, before sharing the quarter nine-all. However, the She-Cranes came back strongly after the break, shutting the Debmarine Desert Jewels down. Their shooting circle was superb, and the Namibian defenders struggled to keep the goal tally down. By halftime, Uganda had a 26-17 lead, having outscored Namibia by 17 goals to eight.
Namibia battled in the third quarter, getting only five goals in the net to 17 for Uganda. In the final quarter, Uganda scored 16 and Namibia eight.
Discipline proved a big problem for Namibia, who conceded 71 penalties during the match.
The Ugandan captain, centre Stella Oyella, was named most valued player.
“We realise that discipline is a problem, and we need to do something about it,” said Namibian assistant coach Antoinette Wentworth. “Our players are finding the speed and intensity of playing the seventh-ranked team difficult to adapt to,” she said. “But they are learning from every match they play. Their last competitive match before this tournament was in 2019. It is a privilege to be playing here against two of the top teams.”
Namibia is ranked 23rd in the world.
Wentworth said the Namibian government was strongly behind netball. “It is one of the major sporting codes in Namibia and is played at grassroots level all over the country.”