Netballers impress at Top Schools tourney

Keagan Mitchell

The Mfuleni-based high school was not disappointed as their under-14 side beat Ravensmead 14-7 to be crowned WP Top Schools’ champions, while the under-16 side narrowly lost 11-8 to the same opponents.

Both matches were played like finals because only the two schools’ were entered into the development category and age groups.

This will now see Manzomthombo’s under-14 side compete at the Western Cape Top Schools’ development competition, at Bloemhof Girls’ High, in Stellenbosch, next weekend.

They will be joined by their under-19 side which also qualfied automatically, after no other schools entered in the under-19 development category.

Manzomthombo under-14 coach Frank Xaba said he’s really proud of how the players performed because they gave their 100% from start to finish.

“We prepared ourselves for the competition last year already and I believed that played a crucial role in our performance.

“My players are energetic and hungry to learn which also contributed to the victory. We did not estimate our opponents because anything can happen on the day. We gave it our best and it was good enough. It is a real achievement to qualify for the next-round with the main goal to qualify for nationals,” he said.

Xaba believes that his instructions before the game played an important role in his side’s victory.

“I told them to attack and defend as a team which had payed off in the end. It feels great when players follow instructions and they showed great character throughout the game,” he said.

Xaba said he expects tough competition at the WC Top Schools’ because the competition gets better every year.

“We won’t underestimate our opponents but our main goal will be to be crowned champions.

“We need to prepare ourselves well because most of the schools’ know how well we did at last year’s competition,” he said.

At last year’s nationals, Manzomthombo’s under-16s, 17s and 19s finished sixth, second and third respectively in the development sections.

Xaba said netball is one of the biggest sports at school and the reason for their success is the passion and dedication the players show for the sport.

“I hope the under-14s and 19s can repeat the performances of last year.

“It won’t be an easy task but we can do it,” he said.

Manzomthombo are having one of their best seasons in netball, as they are not only doing well in tournaments but also in the league – all their teams are unbeaten in the third league.

Xaba said this is a great achievement for the school and it shows how netball is growing.

“We can only get better from here. Competitions such as the Top Schools has helped us in a big way,” he said.