Young Gems miss out on Youth World Cup

Young gems captain Thandazile Ndlovu

The Young Gems have missed the spot for the upcoming Youth World Cup in Gibraltar next year after they finished fourth at the just ended Netball World Youth Cup 2025 Africa qualifiers in Pretoria, South Africa.

Zimbabwe were stunned 43 – 41  by Zambia yesterday in a thrilling and nail biting match as both teams were eyeing for a spot for the upcoming global meet.

Zambia will join South Africa and Malawi who have also booked their slots.

It was a tournament of mixed emotions for the Young Gems especially when they lost against Namibia with just a single goal before the latter eventually dropped a  point after their draw against Kenya, earning the Young Gems a third finish in the round robin matches.

In yesterday's match, Zambia came guns blazing as they kept toe to toe with the Young Gems, managing to go for first quarter break on 9-8 in favour of Zambia.

The team captain Thandazile Ndlovu netted all the goals.

Coming into the second half Zimbabwe made a few changes with Ndlovu partnering with Ruvimbo Pawandiwa who came in for Beyonce Ndaradzi.

Failure to make use of turnovers from both ends kept both teams equally contesting again in the second quarter with Zimbabwe however managing to make a one-goal lead heading for half time on 19-18.

The third quarter was a game changer for the Young Gems, making use of few turnovers in the early minutes of the quarter.

They managed to put on a five- goal lead before Zambia reduced the gap with a single turnover they managed to make use of.

However, Zimbabwe maintained the lead ending the third quarter on 33-30.

Zambia did not back down coming into the final quarter, capitalising on every turnover that came along their way.

Few errors from the Young Gems side cost them as Zambia took the lead in the last minutes of the final quarter, with the last whistle blown as they trailed on two goal deficit.

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