CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – MARCH 28: Sian Moore of the SPAR Proteas (R) and Joan Nampungu of the Uganda She Cranes in action during the 2021 SPAR Challenge test match between SPAR Proteas and Uganda She Cranes at Cape Town International Convention Centre on March 28, 2021 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images)

Uganda She Cranes suffered defeat in their last game of the 2021 Spar Challenge Tri-Nations series on Wednesday.

The She Cranes, like the previous two encounters with South Africa at the tournament, failed to hold in the second half falling by twelve goals, 44-32, after leading at halftime.

The Ugandans came into the match with ambitions of getting one over the hosts and top ranked Proteas and the first half was testament as She Cranes won the opening quarter 10-7.

She Cranes led by as many as 8 goals (10-18) midway the second quarter but the Proteas closed the gap to two goals (19-17) at the break.

While She Cranes shooters Irene Eyaru and Shadiah Nassanga were near perfect, the Proteas made it extremely difficult for Uganda’s shooting pair to recieve passes near the basket and put a lot pressure on Stella Oyella and Sarah Nakiyunga around the circle in the second half.

The She Cranes were limited to just 6 and 7 goals in the second and third quarter respectively that even South Africa’s poor shooting did not sway the result.

Uganda’s Starting 7: Shadiah Nassanga (GS), Irene Eyaru (GA), Sarah Nakiyunga (WA), Stella Oyella (C), Florence Adunia (WD), Joan Nampungu (GD), Shaffie Nalwanja (GD)

Joan Nampungu with the Defender of the Tournament Award Credit: Reg Caldecott

Nampungu Impresses

Throughout the six ranking games the She Cranes played at the tournament, Joan Nampungu was Uganda’s most consistent and best player. The goal defender who has been on an upward spiral since captaining Uganda at the 2017 Youth Netball World Cup in Botswana was named the best defender of the tournament.

Irene Eyaru who was also part of the team Nampungu captained was the most accurate shooter.

Irene Eyaru with the Accurate Shooter of the Tournament Award Credit: Reg Caldecott

Spar Challenge Final Placements

  1. SPAR Proteas
  2. Uganda She Cranes
  3. Namibia Debmarine Desert Jewels

Individual Awards

  • Most valued player of the series: Monique Reyneke
  • Accurate shooter: Irene Eyaru – Uganda She Cranes
  • Best centre court player: Bongiwe Msomi – SPAR Proteas
  • Best defender: Joan Nampungu – Uganda She Cranes

All Uganda’s Results

  • Thursday, March 25: South Africa 49-34 Uganda
  • Friday, March 26: Uganda 49-28 Namibia
  • Saturday, March 27: South Africa U21 45-59 Uganda
  • Sunday, March 28: Namibia 30-59 Uganda
  • Sunday, March 28: South Africa 43-36 Uganda
  • Monday, March 29: Uganda 57-27 Namibia
  • Wednesday, March 31: South Africa 44-32 Uganda

Franklin Kaweru is the Editor in Chief of Kawowo Sports. He is an ardent basketball enthusiast.

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