The Gauteng Golden Fireballs etched their name in the Telkom Netball League history books when the team defeated their rivals and five-time champions, the Gauteng Jaguars, to win their maiden title on 19 June 2022.
The division one final saw a Gauteng derby, where the Jaguars and Fireballs had a tightly contested match, which ended in a three-goal victory for the Fireballs.
The Golden Fireballs are only the 3rd team to lift the trophy in the history of the league. The Free State Crinums had three consecutive wins from 2014-2016, while the Gauteng Jaguars predominantly won most campaigns under head coach Jenny van Dyk.
It was history in the making for coach Elsje Jordaan, who led the Fireballs to glory after previously finishing fifth in 2022. Her team had the edge when it came to experience, with the positive impact from the SPAR Proteas duo, captain Bongiwe Msomi and experienced campaigner Monique Reyneke-Meyer – they were solid on both ends of the court, in attack and defence.
In Division One, the Jaguars walked away with the silver medal, while the Free State Crinums went home with bronze, after a convincing 67-53 victory against the inspiring Western Cape Southern Stings side.
In Division Two, the Eastern Cape Aloes showed total dominance as they went undefeated in the season to win their third successive title. The Division Two final was contested between the Aloes and Mpumalanga’s Sunbirds, where the Aloes closed the game off with a three-goal victory (42-39) at full time.
The Aloes played off will be elevated into Division One this year for the first time since 2014.
Division One – Team Overview
Gauteng Golden Fireballs
The Fireballs showed intent to dominate from the opening week of the Telkom Netball League in 2022 with an almost clean sweep during the TNL season – only suffering one loss (39-53) in the round-robins against their rivals, the Gauteng Jaguars.
You can’t help but feel intimidated when you hear this team’s name. They always put on a good performance, and that was the case in 2022 as well. The team had a solid season, only suffering one loss in their 6th game against the Western Cape Southern Stings (57-60), and in the final against the Fireballs (35-32). Both encounters were lost by a narrow 3 goals.
Free State Crinums
The team had a shaky start to their campaign in 2022. Suffering seven losses in the round-robins (which meant three wins), they were lucky to make it into the top four, for finals contention. They ended up losing the semi-final against the Fireballs in a close encounter (49-47) and ended in the 3rd/4th playoff against the Southern Stings, where they stamped their mark in a convincing 67-53 win.
Western Cape Southern Stings
You can’t help to feel for this team. They won more games in the round-robin rounds than the Crinums, but still finished after them at the end of the tournament. They did however, have a good season, performing consistently right throughout, but during finals, they suffered a two-goal loss against the Jaguars (62-61), and then ultimately lost the bronze final (by 14 goals) against the Crinums.
North West Flames
The North West Flames team had an unsteady season, managing only three victories but finishing just above the Kingdom Stars, which exonerated them from playing the relegation match. They had a brand new team, which consisted of young and upcoming players. Passages of brilliance were showcased; they just weren’t consistent enough.
KwaZulu-Natal Kingdom Stars
Unfortunately, it seemed to be a disastrous season for the Kingdom Stars, only managing one victory during their whole 2022 campaign. Ending last place in Division One saw them facing the Eastern Cape Aloes in the relegation match, where they also lost (42-39). This loss demoted them to the Division Two category for the 2023 TNL season. However, due to there being two additional teams joining Division Two in 2023, the Kingdom Stars were elevated back to Division One for the 2023 season.
Player Awards for the 2022 Season – Division One
Best Shooter – Elmeré van der Berg (North-West Flames)
Best Midcourter – Bongiwe Msomi (Gauteng Golden Fireballs)
Best Defender – Monique Reyneke-Meyer (Gauteng Golden Fireballs)
Overall Player of the Tournament – Izette Griesel (Gauteng Jaguars)
Division One Final Standings For 2022
1 – Gauteng Golden Fireballs
2 – Gauteng Jaguars
3 – Free State Crinums
4 – Western Cape Southern Stings
5 – North West Flames
6 – KwaZulu-Natal Kingdom Stars
Division Two Final Standings For 2022
1 – Eastern Cape Aloes
2 – Mpumalanga Sunbirds
3 – Western Cape Tornados
4 – Limpopo Boababs
5 – KwaZulu-Natal Kingdom Queens
6 – Eastern Cape Comets
7 – Northern Cape Diamonds