Uganda beat Zimbabwe 58-47 to secure their highest ever finish at the Netball World Cup in the first match of the final day of the competition.
In Sydney four years ago, the She Cranes came eighth and during vitality Netball World Cup 2019, they have bettered that by one place this time around. For Zimbabwe, this was a more than respectable end to their first ever World Cup appearance.
It was the first time the two nations battled at this level. Mary Nuba Cholock and Peace Proscovia made a commanding start for Uganda – scoring 14 times across the quarter to maintain a three-goal advantage after the first 15 minutes.
The fighting spirit from the Zim Gems continued into the second quarter as they continued to move the ball around the court well to make it a contest.
The battle between the two African nations was only being added to by the vibrant support from the stands for each nation, which has become a familiar sight at this World Cup – a record-breaking one for the African teams.
Stella Oyella shot at 100% in the second quarter after replacing Cholock to help take the half-time scoreline to 29-20 in the She Cranes’ favour. As the third quarter got underway, the teams – through Proscovia and Joice Takaidza – traded goals but a strong finish to the quarter from the She Cranes saw Oyella score three times in a row to give her side a 45-37 lead.
The game exemplified the fantastic spirit that both teams have brought to the tournament despite Zimbabwe ultimately falling short 58-47.
“It’s been amazing, and so competitive from day one. Africa is rising – though we are competing with each other, we come from Africa, and we like to keep that bond together,” Uganda’s Mary Nuba Cholock told the Vitality netball world cup website.
Uganda won, but as both sides danced off court arm-in-arm as their contribution to the Vitality Netball World Cup couldn’t be over-stated.
New Zealand dethrone Australia
New Zealand stunned holders and 11-time champions Australia to win the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool.
The final was tense throughout and came down to the dying seconds and just one goal, as the Kiwis prevailed 52-51.
It was the Silver Ferns’ fifth world title but their first since 2003 as they finally ended the Diamonds’ dominance.
England clinched bronze with a 58-42 victory over South Africa in their play-off match earlier on Sunday.