Cape Town — Western Cape overshadowed Eastern Province teams on Day 3 of the Spar National Netball Championships at the DF Academy, in Bellville, on Wednesday.
The unbeaten Cape Winelands A who have emerged as favourites for the title in the absence of champions Tshwane defeated the strong Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) outfit 60-48 in the A-Section pipe-opener on Wednesday.
The Winelands side were off to a cracking and dictated the course of play from the opening quarter in which they secured a seven-goal (15-8) lead. From that point onwards, Winelands stepped up the intensity, and with each passing quarter, except the final quarter, widened the margin for a 46-33 lead ahead of the final stanza.
NMB closed the final set strongly, but the Winelands had built up an unassailable lead before signing off 60-48 to secure their position as the A-Section log-leaders.
Later in the day, NMB regained their winning form against KZN coastal rivals eThekwini A who they defeated 45-34.
The next Western Cape side to prevail was the Cape Town A, who scraped home in a come-from-behind 46 -43 win against a determined Buffalo City outfit.
City started like a house on fire as the Capetonians were slow out of the blocks, and by the time the first quarter ended, the Eastern Cape visitors had opened a 14-9 lead.
That was the cue for the Capetonians to up the ante, and in a dashing display stormed ahead 27-20 after two quarters. It was a tremendous performance considering the energy-sapping steamy summer conditions.
City outscored Cape Town in the final two quarters, but the earlier 27-20 lead proved too great, and eventually, they went down by three goals (46-43).
The happiest at the nationals on Wednesday was the Johannesburg A coach Professor Chipeya who steered his charges to a deserving 52-46 win over struggling eThekwini A.
His team suffered a few reverses earlier in the week, but he was always positive that his side was on the way to securing a playoff berth later in the week. On Wednesday, they took a step in the right direction with a hard-fought win, and in his post-match speech, he vowed his side is growing in stature with each game.
eThekwini stamped their authority on the match in the opening quarter, but Johannesburg bounced back strongly in the next with a 14-goal burst to the lead, which they never relinquished again. Johannesburg signed off with another 14-goal burst, in the final stanza.
Wednesday's A Section results to hand:
Cape Winelands A 60 Nelson Mandela Bay 48
Johannesburg A 52 eThekwini A 46
Cape Town A 46 Buffalo City 43
eThekwini A 34 Nelson Mandela Bay 45