Zimbabwe friendlies expose She Cranes’ poor centre play

Wednesday May 8 2019

She Cranes vice captain Ajio (C) expertly c

She Cranes vice captain Ajio (C) expertly collects during the friendly game against Zimbabwe which Uganda won 58-54 at Nakirebe. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA 


Kampala- The She Cranes, Uganda’s national women’s netball team proved a superior side in friendly encounters against the Zimbabwe Gems that ended yesterday at Allen VR Stanley (AVRS) Arena in Nakirebe.

The sides competed in four games as part of preparation for Netball World Cup due July 12-21 in Liverpool, England.

The opening fixture on Sunday ended in 57-53, followed by 57-53 and 58-48 on Monday as well as yesterday’s 58-54 all in favour of Uganda.
Poor centre field and defence positions were among the She Cranes weaknesses that resulted into more rebounds and stolen balls.

With reliable centre player Halima Nakachwa going AWOL last year during the English Test Series, the team was left with youngster Betty Kizza who is often nervous and found of panicking together with a ‘worn-out’ Ruth Meeme from the 2015 World Cup.
“We have started feeling that Nakachwa left a big gap,” said coach Nelson Bogere.

Meanwhile the She Cranes defence is also wanting in as far as fitness is concerned.

Defenders Joan Nampungu, Lillian Ajio, Hindu Namutebi and Irene Akello did not disappoint but easily got tired hence giving opponents a chance to penetrate their defence as well as steal balls from them.

“These games have been competitive and they have exposed our weak side, I believe our fitness will improve when we go to gym,” said Lilian Ajio the She Cranes vice-captain.

William Mwanja, the vice president technical Uganda Netball Federation (UNF), promised gym sessions for the She Cranes starting next week.
The World Cup is in July.


Uganda 57-53 Zimbabwe
Uganda 57-53 Zimbabwe
Uganda 58-48 Zimbabwe
Yesterday’s result
Uganda 58-54 Zimbabwe

Date: July 12-21
Venue: M&S Arena-Liverpool, England.
Group D World Cup fixtures
July 13: Uganda vs. England
July 14: Uganda vs. Scotland
July 13: Uganda vs. Samoa