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Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com - 14/07/2019 - Netball - Vitality Netball World Cup - Jamaica v South Africa - M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, England - South Africa celebrate victory over Jamaica.

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com - 14/07/2019 - Netball - Vitality Netball World Cup - Jamaica v South Africa - M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, England - South Africa celebrate victory over Jamaica.

The third day of the Vitality Netball World Cup captured the imagination on Sunday 14 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 round-up for the day:

Session Five:

Group B: New Zealand 89-21 Singapore

New Zealand cemented their position at the top of Group B with a convincing win over Singapore on Sunday morning. The victory was their largest of their opening three Vitality Netball World Cup matches and such a clinical display will surely send out a message to their rivals. Singapore were always going to be tasked with an uphill battle, which was exacerbated by going 9-0 behind within five minutes. The Silver Ferns continued to stamp their quality on the game – at one point scoring 14 in a row – and eventually ran out 89-21 winners.

Group B: Malawi 65-41 Barbados

Malawi recorded their second win of the tournament when they defeated Barbados 65-41 in a fiery clash at the M&S Bank Arena.

These two had identical records going into this fixture having both lost to New Zealand but winning against Singapore. With the ever-reliable Joyce Mvula (Manchester Thunder) and London Pulse’s Loreen Ngwira on court, Malawi began to dominate.

Despite missing the opening goal opportunity, Mvula made amends with a characteristically impressive shooting accuracy of 93.9% across three quarters. The 25-year-old was exceptional throughout and helped her country triumph in every quarter.

Group D: England 90-24 Samoa

The Vitality Roses chalked up their biggest win of the tournament so far as they swept Samoa aside to complete their Group D campaign with a 100% record at the Vitality Netball World Cup.

The Vitality Roses – supported by six Vitality Netball Superleague stars – were on scintillating form with Jo Harten and Rachel Dunn (Wasps Netball) particularly impressing.

The 90-24 victory came after what coach Tracey Neville admitted had been an ‘emotional’ evening after Layla Guscoth was ruled out of the remainder of the tournament with a ruptured Achilles, sustained in yesterday’s win over Scotland.

The Roses now progress to the next phase of the competition as group winners.

Group D: Uganda 52-43 Scotland

In what was a hugely enticing match between sixth and seventh in the world – as per the International Netball Federation’s world rankings – Uganda won the battle to finish second behind the Vitality Roses with a close-fought 52-43 win.

A plethora of Vitality Netball Superleague talents were on show with the majority donning Thistles blue. Nine of the 11 Superleague Scots, all of which play for Strathclyde Sirens, took part while Mary Cholhok (Loughborough Lightning) was in action for the opposition.

Cholhok played for just 16 minutes but made a seismic impact. The 6’7 goal shooter netted six times from seven attempts (85.7%) to help the She Cranes over the line.

The Scottish Thistles were a match for their Ugandan counterparts throughout the contest. Captain Claire Maxwell led her side bravely in what was her 100th cap for her country.

Session Six:

Group A: Australia 99-24 Sri Lanka

Australia confirmed their place at the top of Group A with a resounding 99-24 victory over Sri Lanka to make it three wins from three at the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 for the current holders.

The Diamonds’ 99 is the highest score of the competition so far and were quick to build on victories over Northern Ireland and Zimbabwe over the course of the previous two days.

After a relatively slow start, the Australians began to find their rhythm as goal shooter Caitlin Thwaites and goal attack Steph Wood began to control proceedings. Thwaites scored 13 times in the opening 15 minutes and Wood added another six.

Group A: Jamaica 52-55 South Africa

Two heavyweights met on Court One on Sunday evening and they did not disappoint. The pair were separated by just two goals at the end of the 60 minutes in what was the most entertaining game so far.

Supported by three Superleague players, South Africa started strongly and headed into the break 32-31 in front. Bongiwe Msomi (Wasps Netball), who became the third South African player to reach a century of international appearances yesterday in the Proteas’ victory over Fiji, saw much of the ball in the first half of the game, but her influence waned during the third quarter as Jamaica threatened a comeback.

Jodi-Ann Ward (Celtic Dragons) and her Jamaica teammates, however, responded after the break to reduce the deficit to just two points by the end of the game, when both sides received a standing ovation for their performances.

Group C: Northern Ireland 51-49 Zimbabwe

In the battle to decide who would finish second to Australia in the group, the tussle went right down to the wire, with the lead changing hands multiple times before the Zim Gems held their nerve to edge over the line and spark wild celebrations in the crowd.

The Superleague trio of Michelle Drayne (Saracens Mavericks), Caroline O’Hanlon (Manchester Thunder) and Fionnuala Toner (London Pulse) were exceptional throughout, but could not claim the points against an impressive Zimbabwe.

Northern Ireland captain Caroline O’Hanlon said: “We made errors across the four quarters and those were costly in the end. The game was there for the taking and we should have closed it out.”

Group C: Trinidad and Tobago 67-56 Fiji

Trinidad and Tobago recorded their first win of the tournament as Fiji were defeated.

Celtic Dragons teammates Kalifa McCollin and Dee Balakoro faced off on court, but there could only be one winner.

While she was critical of her own performance, McCollin provided 21 goals and a further 13 goal assists for her side. Indeed, Trinidad and Tobago started rapidly, winning the first quarter by 13 goals.

Despite Fiji’s best efforts – and eventual 16-10 margin of victory in the final quarter – it was too little too late to reel Trinidad and Tobago back in, as the Calypso Girls completed a 67-56 victory.

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

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