The Uganda National Netball team, the She Cranes, are in high spirits ahead of their third group game against hosts England later today at the ongoing 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games. The She Cranes enter the match determined to finish second in their group and advance to the championship semifinals. Part of the job to be done will be defeating third-ranked England, which is on home soil.
Coach Fred Kajoba’s team remains third on the table, two points behind England and New Zealand, who both have four points from their last two games. While the She Cranes players are aware of the threat ahead of them, the girls have fired up to battle the hosts amid the huge crowds that will be cheering England.
Uganda Radio Network talked to a couple of She Cranes players who vowed to play their best to overcome England. Joan Nampugu, the team’s assistant captain, says they have been closely following England’s playing style and they are hoping to get good results from the clash.
Shafie Nalwanja, the She Cranes goalkeeper, says their first game against second-ranked New Zealand was a big morale booster despite their loss. Nalwanja says that despite losing, their performance on court motivated them, and they hope to replicate the same when they face England.
Mary Nuba says she is aware of the crowd that will be cheering for the home girls, but she says none of this will scare them.
The team head coach and veteran tactician, Fred Mugerwa, explained that after their loss against New Zealand, the technical bench made some errors, which they later rectified in the second game. He believes the girls will use the same momentum as they battle England.
He further explained that team captain Peace Proscovia did not have a good game in the opener, which forced him to rest her in the second game. He hopes the star athlete will mend her game in their next clash.
She didn’t have a good first day, but she is still a good player and she will feature in other games. She was not clinical in her shooting. I think that may be because she was in Australia, where she played with the New Zealand girls. Maybe they knew her very well. That’s why she couldn’t perform as we expected, “Mugerwa explained.
The She Cranes are hoping for a finer display compared to the last edition of the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, where they finished sixth after falling to South Africa 53-42 in the playoffs to determine who takes the fifth and sixth spots.
Coach Mugerwa’s charges qualified for the games by virtue of their World Netball ranking as of January 31st, 2022. The team ranks 6th globally and 2nd on the African continent, below South Africa and above Malawi. The She Cranes earned this after finishing second in the African Netball Championship and winning the Africa Pent Series.
Boxing skipper Tukamuhebwa roars
In the same development, national boxing team skipper Joshua Tukamuhebwa has vowed to produce a spirited fight in his quarter-final bout as he bids to win at least a medal in the games. Tukamuhebwa expressed gratitude for his late mother’s trust in him and vowed to fight for it. He further explained that he has been waiting for his opponent and he is aware of whatever threat he will bring into the ring.
Tukamuhebwa defeated Billy Polkinghorn of Australia by split decision, 4-1, at Hall Four at the National Exhibition Center, putting him closer to the podium in the men’s 65kg light welterweight category. He will later, on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022, take on Canadian W. Sanford, and a win for the Ugandan pugilist will guarantee him a medal.
She Cranes Fixtures and Results
Saturday, July 30-New Zealand 53-40 Uganda
Sunday, July 31-Uganda 62-28 Trinidad & Tobago
Tuesday, August 2-England vs Uganda
Wednesday, August 3-Uganda vs Northern Ireland
Thursday, August 4-Malawi vs Uganda