BIRMINGHAM, England, Netball Nations Cup hosts, England had to fight hard to beat the SPAR Proteas 58-54 on Thursday in Birmingham.

Both South Africa and England came into match day two having lost their opening matches three days earlier against New Zealand and Jamaica respectively in Nottingham.

The win by the Commonwealth Champions dampened any chance of the South Africa reaching the final of the inaugural tournament this weekend.

The Proteas and the Roses recently met in Cape Town for the International Netball Series with England winning the series 2-1.

South Africa’s coach Dorette Badenhorst made two changes to the team that played against Jamaica on Sunday, both Lefebre Rademan and Rome Dreyer started ahead of Ine Marie Venter and Izette Griesel.

The Proteas enjoyed the lead for the better of the first quarter. South Africa took a 16 -13 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Roses pushed South Africa and until the end of second quarter winning it 1210 and reduced the Proteas lead to just one point. At the end of the quarter it was 2625 to South Africa.

The start of the third quarter saw England score two goals in as many minutes. The Roses would take a 17 -11 lead in the third quarter. At the end of the quarter England were leading for the first time in this game at 42 -37.

Rademan made her way back onto the court at the start of the last quarter and replaced Sigi Burger. At the end of the match it was the Vitality Roses that won the match 58 – 54.

The team really worked hard during training sessions and this was evident in how we played today, said Badenhorst.

Yes, we made a few mistakes during the match and think that our defence got toward towards the end, I am proud of the team, they fought hard and never gave up. We get ready for the New Zealand game now this weekend.

South Africa will face New Zealand on Saturday in London at 4.30pm SA time.

Source: African News Agency