The Proteas netball team came within a whisker of claiming another famous victory over the England Roses in their final Quad Series match in Melbourne on Sunday morning.
The Roses produced a second-half comeback to claim a 45-42 win over the Proteas to finish the series in second place behind Australia.
Proteas coach Norma Plummer was left ruing their missed chances after they had the English under the cosh for the majority of the match.
“We had that game. I was extremely disappointed in our attacking and shooters not going to the post after halftime,” Plummer said.
“We certainly had England having to change up their whole game. I thought our defence head was absolutely outstanding and credit to Romé Dreyer who did a very good job.
“We actually had that game so yes we very disappointed. We let England in the door. England had to change up their whole team to get across the line which is a feather in the SPAR Proteas’ cap. Just sad it’s another loss we let slip.”
The South Africans went into the encounter as resounding underdogs following runaway defeats to New Zealand and Australia.
But the team bounced back with aplomb with Maryka Holtzhausen and Lenize Potgieter leading the charge inside the circle.
The Proteas set the pace leading the Commonwealth champions 13-11 after the first quarter and holding a 27-20 advantage at the half-time break.
South Africa let the intensity slip after the recess while England fired on all cylinders after making a few tactical changes.
England wiped out the seven-point deficit drawing level 32-all with a minute before the end of the third quarter.
Danelle Lochner pulled one back giving South Africa a one-point lead going into the final quarter.
The sides were level at 41-all with four minutes left in the encounter with England getting their noses in front to deny the Proteas the victory.
Proteas captain Bongi Msomi said commended her team-mates for the way they had bounced back from their defeats to Australia and New Zealand.
“Taking into account we have new inexperienced caps in our team and are missing some experienced players due to injury the SPAR Proteas showed guts,” Msomi said.
“We also know we have depth in our team which lends well for the future. We should have finished the game off but credit to England for making the comeback they did. Now the SPAR Proteas need to work on consistency to prevent losses like this.”