Tasc Netball Club are the champions of the inaugural Spar Netball League. The giants from the north swept aside Notwane by a flattering margin of 59 ÔÇô 34 to win the league.
The promisingly tough and salivating encounter between the two giants of Botswana netball almost turned into a one sided affair as Tasc steam rolled over Notwane with relative ease.
From the onset, it looked as if Notwane’s quest to win the inaugural trophy would be a task too difficult to achieve as Tasc asserted themselves on the game from the word go.
Against the athletic and physically imposing Tasc side, Notwane, who looked likely to win the league after they disposed off perennial finalists, BDF Cats, in the semi finals early in the day, seemed out of sorts and overawed by the occasion as Tasc dictated terms on the court.
After racing to a 15 ÔÇô 9 lead over Notwane, by the end of the first quarter, the ladies from the Francistown BDF barracks never looked back as they hit Notwane at will with their goal shooter Violet doing the greater damage.
The physically big and tall goal shooter overcame a nervy start to the game and used her physical presence inside the goal circle to punish the lacklustre Notwane defence.
Despite missing a couple of first time shots at the net, Violet won all the rebounds and aerial balls and netted them at will. Notwane defence seemed out of sorts as they often left the Tasc shooter unmarked in the goal line, for which she punished them dearly.
Realising his defence’s unbecoming performance, Notwane mentor, Oteng Masole, made a tactical switch, sending his lanky goal defender upfront and introducing a new defender to stop the towering Tasc goal shooter but they still could not contain her.
Notwane’s saving grace on the day seemed to be their 16-year-old goal attacker who scored at will from anywhere in and outside the goal circle and helped reduce what could have been an embarrassing points margin. Unlike Notwane, who opted to play quick short passes which exhausted them due to sweltering heat conditions, Tasc opted for a more favourable formation that saved them from heat exhaustion but allowed them to take advantage of their height advantage to score many points.
“Because of the excessive heat, we opted for a system called three quick balls with only two centre court players touching the ball before it is sent over to the goal shooter to take a shot at the goal,” the jubilant Tasc coach, Samuel Letsatsi, informed Telegraph Sport.
Letsatsi says after seeing Notwane defeat BDF Cats in the semi finals, they anticipated them to attack vigorously and therefore planned to slow down the tempo of the game and to assert themselves on the game as early as possible.
The Tasc mentor says their attitude not to underestimate any opponent but to take each game as a final helped a lot as they never lost concentration in the game.
For his part, coach Masole of Notwane questioned the psychological preparedness of his team, which committed a lot of unforced errors.
“My players looked intimidated by Tasc’s physical presence. We easily lost balls and once we did, we were very slow to cover. We gave Tasc a lot of space to attack and they punished us,” Masole said.
Tasc walked away with a floating trophy, P15┬á000 in cash and gold medals for their efforts while Notwane had to be content with silver medals and some cash.