Zim Gems progress to second stage of World Cup

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Zimbabwe’s Senior Netball Team, the Gems are through to the next round of the Netball World Cup after defeating Northern Ireland 49-51 in their final first stage encounter played in Liverpool, England last night (Sunday).

Zimbabwe edged a thrilling contest to finish second behind the defending champions Australia. However, despite the defeat, Northern Ireland also go through to the next round as well as the top three teams in each group progress.

Northern Ireland held a three-point lead at the end of the first quarter but the game was tied at half-time, up until the final quarter when the Gems snatched the win.

The Gems coach Lloyd Makunde was overjoyed at the win.

“I can say now it doesn’t matter who our opponents will be in the next match, anyone who comes we can take them on anytime. Mentally we are stronger now than before the game.

“So I would say kudos to the girls, they worked hard, they fought as a unit. We made mistakes but they always woke up and fought so kudos to them again,” said Makunde.

Gem Claris Kwaramba puts the pressure on Northern Ireland captain Caroline O’Hanlon

It’s only the second-ever World Cup victory for the 13th-ranked Zimbabwe team, participating in their first ever World cup tournament, having only lost 73-37 in their second game against 10-time World Cup champions, Australia.