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Superleague stars in action on day two of Vitality Netball World Cup

The second day of the Vitality Netball World Cup got off to a flying start on Saturday 13 July in front of another sell-out crowd at the M&S Bank Arena.

We continued to keep an eye out for the 32 Vitality Netball Superleague stars competing in the highly anticipated tournament. Here’s your roundup for the day:

Session 3: 

Group A: Australia 73-37 Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s vocal supporters were back in numbers as the Vitality Netball World Cup debutants had the small matter of facing the defending champions Australia on day two and they raised the roof when Joice Takaidza scored the Gems’ first goal. It was the Diamonds in the driving seat though at half-time with a comfortable 39-18 lead. However, Zimbabwe delivered an inspired third-quarter display – with Australia narrowly edging it 15-13. The world number ones exuded class though as they closed out a comfortable 73-37 win to make it two from two.

Group A: Northern Ireland 67-50 Sri Lanka

Saracens Mavericks’ Michelle Drayne, Manchester Thunder’s Caroline O’Hanlon and London Pulses’ Fionnuala Toner took to the court as part of Northern Ireland’s starting seven. Despite Sri Lanka’s best efforts and brilliant shooting statistics, Northern Ireland secured their first victory of the tournament.

Caroline O’Hanlon, who secured her 100th cap when stepping on court for Northern Ireland today, said: “I’m just elated to get out on court and get a win more importantly. It’s an honour every time you get an opportunity to play for Northern Ireland, I’m just so proud that on such an occasion we were able to get a win also.”

Group B: New Zealand 78-25 Barbados

New Zealand backed up their impressive opening game win with another comfortable victory as they defeated Barbados 78-25 to remain top of Group B at the Vitality Netball World Cup.

The Silver Ferns had won all seven of the previous World Cup contests between the sides and after a competitive first quarter, they began to show their quality and ultimately ran out clear winners. After a superb win against Singapore yesterday, Barbados entered the game with confidence but as the tie wore on, they were out classed by Noeline Taurua’s ruthless side.

Group B: Malawi 87-38 Singapore

A dominant Malawi put yesterday’s loss aside as they blitzed through Singapore on day 2 of the Vitality Netball World Cup.

With the reliable presence of Joyce Mvula (Manchester Thunder) shooting at 95% in the Queens’ attacking circle, and with a steady flow of ball from the defence, it wasn’t long before Malawi found their footing and ploughed quickly onwards, leading 27-11 at the end of the first quarter. They continued as they started and saw out the game comfortably.

Joyce Mvula commented on her team’s performance “I feel much better, yesterday was a hard time for us so it’s good that we kept going and were able to use what we discussed last night out on court. We now need to maintain the momentum going into tomorrow’s match. It’s not going to be easy but we just need to be strong.”

Session 4:

Group C: Jamaica 68-43 Trinidad and Tobago

What looked to be a keenly-contested game was turned on its head in the second quarter when Jamaica came out firing on all cylinders, scoring 16 unanswered goals, and from then on the result was never in question.

Three Superleague stars featured in this match up with Stacian Facey of Celtic Dragons and Jodi-Ann Ward of Severn Stars taking to the court for Jamaica and Kalifa McCollins, Celtic Dragons goal attack, featuring for Trinidad and Tobago.

The Sunshine Girls held a narrow 17-15 advantage at the first break but by half time Jamaica were looking comfortable with a 42-21 cushion. Both sides continued to trade goals, moving the score along to 57-34 by the end of the third quarter. Trinidad and Tobago kept pressing but it wasn’t enough and the Sunshine Girls finished the game winners.

Group C: South Africa 90-35 Fiji

Wasps star Bongiwe Msomi captained South Africa from the start to earn her 100th cap as they thrashed Fiji to set up a top spot decider with Jamaica tomorrow.

Surrey Storm were well represented in the match with Shadine Van De Merwe and Sigi Berger also turning out for the Proteas and the latter spoke about the support both have received from the English fans.

She said: “It’s so lovely, at Storm we have such loyal supporters that we see week in week out regardless of whether it’s home or away games so even here I’ve received that support.

“For example, this morning we were just walking outside our hotel and some fans came up to us and all they were chanting was ‘Sigi Sigi’ and ‘Shadine Shadine’ – it’s so lovely to see the familiar faces and it makes it feel like we’re playing on home soil.”

Severn Stars’ Maryka Holtzhausen also came on to help form a ruthless attack that contributed to the highest points total from an individual team in the World Cup so far.

This made it a challenging night for Celtic Dragons defender Dee Bolakoro but she managed to record more minutes on the court than her previous outing against Jamaica.

Bongiwe Msomi also spoke of her 100 caps: “It means so much to have achieved 100 caps. To be honest I’d forgotten it was happening until just before the match. As honoured as I am, because of the hard work I put in behind the scenes, but I’m really just so glad to see the performance the girls put in on court today and to see them really stepping up. For me it’s always been about joining the team and playing some great netball for my country, sometimes you try to do that and it doesn’t happen but when it does happen you can take the pride from that. I’m excited that it’s my 100th cap – not everyone gets to they and if you do it means you’ve worked so hard to get there. I’m really proud of how far I’ve come through all the challenges.”

Group D: England 70-34 Scotland 

England coach Tracey Neville chose to rotate her squad bringing in Wasps Netball’s Rachel Dunn and Jade Clarke. Natalie Pannagary from Loughborough Lightning also got her first start of the tournament, coming in at wing defence.

Scotland’s starting line-up was full of Vitality Netball Superleague stars – Bethan Goodwin, Lynsey Gallagher, Nicola McCleery, Claire Maxwell, Kelly Boye, Emily Nicholl and Hayley Mulheron all coming from Strathclyde Sirens.

Youngster, Emma Barrie (Strathclyde Sirens) who shot at 84% commented on the game and her Sirens teammates: “We set targets to put out against England today and we hit quite a lot of them so that was good. It makes such a difference having my Sirens teammates around me, we get to gel previous combinations and test out new ones but we’ve all had experience in pressured situations in the Superleague so it’s’ only a benefit coming into World Cup.”

Group D: Uganda 69-48 Samoa

The Ugandans got their first win on the board with Loughborough Lightning’s Mary Cholhok getting her first start of the tournament for the She Cranes.

It was Uganda who settled quickest into the match, racing ahead and finishing the first quarter with a 22-11 lead. At the halfway mark Uganda led 40-23 and were thoroughly in control of the contest from then on. Cholhok ended the match having converted 35 of her 40 attempts.

Mary Cholhok spoke about her Vitality Netball World Cup debut: “It feels good to have gotten out on court today. The team has a good energy and I was ready to smash it so was really excited. I think we are going to do the same as we did today, there is no game to neglect here, so we aim to have the same energy, same focus and same patience. We can learn to space out, as we did today. It was a mistake we made yesterday and it needed to be addressed today. We are going to keep learning and keep moving each day until the end. It was amazing to make my World Cup debut and also play alongside Peace. We are not going to stop here, it’s great.”

Keep up to date on all the live action by following @NetballSL on Twitter.

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