The Spar Proteas started the 2019 Africa Netball Cup in emphatic fashion as they demolished neighbours Lesotho in the opening match by 116-10 to record their most ever goals in a Test match on Friday morning at Bellville Velodrome in Cape Town.

From their 120 attempts at goal, the Proteas managed to score an impressive 116 goals to make history and overtake their previous record of 110, which they scored on two previous occasions. The first time was back in 1995 against the Cayman Islands in Birmingham where they secured a 110-22 win. A year later, the Spar Proteas reached a century of goals once again when they hammered Lesotho 110-3 in Pretoria. The margin of victory was just one goal short of the all-time Spar Proteas record of 107 goals against the same opposition, Lesotho in 1996.

It was expected for South Africa to be dominant. As much this was a proper demolition, it was also an improvement for Lesotho in terms of goals scored against the host nation. Lesotho scored 10 goals compared to the only three they scored 23 years ago. Two Spar Proteas players in Monique Reyneke and Lefebre Rademan earned their first caps against Lesotho with Precious Mthembu making a welcome return to international netball.

The Spar Proteas were not quite done for the day as they clashed against Malawi who were playing their first game of the tournament at a packed Bellville Velodrome. The hosts narrowly beat Malawi by 56-51 in what was an exciting game of netball to make it two wins out of two matches.

Africa Netball Cup is the first tournament the Spar Proteas are participating in following their good showing at the Netball World Cup in England where they finished fourth under the leadership of former coach Norma Plummer.

The tournament is a good test for the newly appointed coaching duo of Badenhorst, head coach and Dumisani Chauke, the assistant coach as they are using the tournament as a preparation for the series against England in November. The goal for Badenhorst and Chauke is to win the tournament and remain the best team on the African continent.

This is a competitive tournament as five of the eight participating nations are in the top 15 on the Netball world rankings with South Africa as the top-ranked side in 5th, followed by Malawi in 7th,Β Zimbabwe and Zambia ranked 14th and 15th respectively. Lesotho, Kenya, Tanzania do not feature on the rankings.

Other results of the day saw Zambia beat Kenya by 56-29 with the final game of the day scheduled to start at 20:00 between Uganda and Zimbabwe The tournament will run from 18-22 October at Bellville Velodrome in Cape Town. Tanzania pulled out of the tournament due to financial issues.

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