Netball team misses out on World Youth Cup

Netball team misses out on World Youth Cup

Luciah Phahla

Maseru

 

Lesotho’s Under-21 netball team has missed out on the 2017 Netball World Youth Cup after losing six straight games at this week’s qualification tournament in Gaborone, Botswana.

Lesotho opened its campaign on Sunday and immediately suffered two heavy defeats, 81-11 to powerhouses Malawi and 66-9 to hosts Botswana. The team has since lost games to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Uganda.

Along with hosts Botswana, only three teams will qualify for next year’s global finals, ending Lesotho’s hopes.

Lesotho Netball Association (LNA) public relations officer Matšepo Mohau blamed the team’s poor performance on unpreparedness.

“First of all, we did not have enough time to prepare and train as a team compared to other countries that were camp since May,” she told thepost yesterday from Botswana.

“Height is also another thing that puts us at a disadvantage. Although we have skills, our players are quite short compared to other teams, so we have problems,” she added.

Mohau said the players would use the harrowing experience to grow.

“Despite the losses, the players are quite happy for the international exposure. With this participation we are already preparing for the (African Union Sports Council) Region 5 games to be held in Angola in December,” she said.

“We are no longer looking at the score, it’s not an issue. We just want the girls to enjoy their game and display their talent.”

Lesotho has two matches remaining at the tournament, against Namibia today and versus Swaziland on Saturday.

Lesotho’s Africa Youth World Cup qualifiers results and fixtures:

Sunday, July 24

Lesotho 11-81 Malawi

Lesotho 9-66 Botswana

Monday, July 25

Lesotho 4-89 South Africa

Tuesday, July 26

Lesotho 13-88 Zimbabwe

Wednesday, July 27

Lesotho 11-56 Zambia

Lesotho 11-86 Uganda

Thursday, July 28

Lesotho vs. Namibia

Saturday, July 30

Lesotho vs. Swaziland

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