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Sunday, 28 July, 2002, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK

Gumede has South Africa riding high

By Bruce Pope
BBC Sport Online in Manchester

South Africa justified their world ranking of five by inflicting Barbados' third defeat of these Commonwealth Games at the MEN Arena on Sunday.

Although Barbados limited South Africa to a single-goal lead at the end of the first quarter, the Proteas eased away in the second half to finish 56-37, bouncing back from Saturday's loss to Jamaica - the other Caribbean side competing here.

South Africa captain Mable van der Vyver took heart from a display where the Proteas' tactical planning reaped dividends.

"It was very tough at the beginning but we worked very hard," Van der Vyver said. "We put them under a lot of pressure and they couldn't cope with that.

"For the first time this week we could stick to our game plan, that was very important and I'm very satisfied."

South Africa's trump card was goal shooter Sindisiwe Gumede, whose height allowed her to dominate the Barbadian pair of Stacy Forde and Sherry Martindale within the scoring semi-circle.

"I'm not happy - I think we could have done a whole lot better"
Barbados skipper Sherry Martindale

Although the occasional shot from Gumede - who scored 49 of her side's goals - went astray, her team-mates worked hard to win the ball back and the shooting percentage rose along with South Africa's confidence.

Bronwyn Bock-Jonathan was at the heart of these efforts as a good centre should, prepared to take a couple of hard knocks for the good of the team.

Barbados' best hope lay in the perpetual motion of Olivia Walcott and Linda Wilson, the goal attack and wing attack creating some fine give-and-go passing movements to move the ball up the court.

However, lack of accuracy under the basket cost Barbados dear, who needed to make more of their scoring opportunities if they were to keep their opponents in sight.

"I'm not happy with the result because I think we could have done a whole lot better," Barbados skipper Sherry Martindale said.

"In this Pool we are definitely the underdogs so we are just playing as hard as we possibly can."

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