THE under-21 netball team has crashed out of the Africa Netball World Youth Cup qualifiers being held in Botswana after losing all their opening four matches.
Lesotho lost to Malawi, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe to exit the competition on Tuesday with three matches to play. The weeklong tournament will end on Saturday.
However, according to Lesotho Netball Association (LNA) public relations officer, Matšepo Mohau, the tournament provided valuable exposure for the under-21 team.
She said the team would compete in the African Union Sports Council Games (SCASA) to be held in Angola in December better prepared after the defeats.
“Of course, we are disappointed with the back-to-back defeats, but our girls showed commitment in all their matches,” Mohau said.
“This was their first competition, and they gained a lot of experience which will help them going forward.
“They will leave Botswana on Saturday better players having learnt a lot from their more experienced counterparts who have been playing at this stage for some time.”
She said the team team showed a lot of character in their 12-88 loss to Zimbabwe on Tuesday.
“The 12 points were the highest we scored in the competition, and there were a lot of positive to take home in our performance,” said Mohau.
“Hopefully, we will be a better team when we compete in the SCASA games in December.”
Mohau said the girls were no longer under pressure ahead of their games against Zambia, Uganda and Namibia as their fate was already sealed.
“We knew by Tuesday that we had failed to qualify for the Africa Netball World Youth Cup, so our focus is to try and improve on our weaknesses such as getting more goals.”
The other country competing in the qualifiers is Uganda, with the top three countries qualifying for the World Cup which will also be held in Botswana next year.