Netball's 2018 year in review: winners and losers

By David Namunyala

Uganda's success story unfolded in 2014 when the She Cranes qualified to play at the World Cup after over 39 years and things seem to get better each year.

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She Cranes retained the Africa Netball Championship crown to qualify for the World Cup to be held in England next year

Qualifying for the 2019 Netball World Cup is enough for Uganda Netball Federation president Suzan Anek and her team to reflect on the year with a good level of satisfaction.

Uganda's success story unfolded in 2014 when the She Cranes qualified to play at the World Cup after over 39 years and things seem to get better each year.

The She Cranes first competed at the world stage in 1979 in Trinidad and Tobago. The event was known as the World Netball Championship then.

At the 2015 World Cup in Australia, the She Cranes put up an impressive performance finishing eighth overall.

She Cranes stormed the 2019 after winning the Africa Netball Championship in Zambia this year.

Dominant Uganda finished unbeaten with 12 points to retain the continental title.

They beat Namibia 72-47, Malawi 51-46, Kenya 61-42, Botswana 66-35, Zambia 64-56 and Zimbabwe 66-51 to emerge champions.

Uganda finished ahead of second-placed Malawi on 10 points while Zimbabwe came third on 8.

Commonwealth Games

As part of preparations for a third appearance at the World Cup, the She Cranes made an impressive finish at the Commonwealth Games.


 Uganda won the World University Netball Championship. File Photo

They finished in sixth position on their first appearance at the Games after going down to South Africa 53-42 in a classification match.

Stella Oyella and Peace Proscovia netted 22 and 19 goals each while Racheal Nanyonga added a goal as the She Cranes fell to the Protea side in Australia.

Mixed results at test series

However, at the International Netball Friendly series, the She Cranes got mixed results against Barbados and England.
They won the first test series after beating the Bajan Gems of Barbados 2-1.

But Uganda suffered a 3-0 humiliation against the Roses of England.

Prisons register a double

Former champions NIC will need to play their cards a little better if they are to reclaim the title at the East and Central Africa Netball Championship and the national league next season.

This is after their rivals Prisons Netball Club proved to be dominant in either event this year.

At the regional event in Tanzania, the 16-time champions NIC lost 39-38 to Prisons in the final.

This was the fourth consecutive time that NIC lost in the final.

 Fans and players celebrate the university title

On home soil, coach Vincent Kiwanuka's side failed to retain the national league title. The 18-time league champions needed to score about 110 goals in the last fixture against Maroons and failure to do so saw the title go to Prisons.

Prisons beat Maroons 68-23 in their final game leaving NIC with no excuse but to surrender the trophy. The display saw NIC finish in second position behind champions Prisons but tied at 25 points with the later. Prisons lifted the title because of better goal average.

Personal achievements

Peace Proscovia signed a contract with Australian side, Sunshine Coast Lightning.

The former Loughborough Lightning player will alongside her netball career undertake a PhD at the University of the Sunshine Coast starting next year.

Elsewhere, promising player Mary Nuba becomes Uganda's second netball player to join the professional ranks.

The Nkumba University student landed herself a contract with Loughborough Lightning.