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Superleague stars impress on day eight at the Vitality Netball World Cup

Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com - 19/07/2019 - Netball - Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 - Malawi v Uganda - M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, England - Joyce Mvula of Malawi.

We have entered the final three days of the Vitality Netball World Cup, which means the battle for placings and medals has commenced and countries are preparing to head home.

On day eight in Liverpool, one of our illustrious 32 Vitality Superleague stars saw their tournament draw to a close and we were across all the matches. Here’s your round-up of Friday’s action:

Session 15:

15th/16th placing match: Sri Lanka 78-57 Singapore

The World Cup’s top scorer Tharjini Sivalingam powered Sri Lanka to victory to condemn Singapore to bottom spot at the tournament. Remarkably the 6’10 shooter scored 77 of the 78 goals her team managed in the contest, with goal-attack Hasitha Mendis the only other player to strike as she also managed 40 assists. Singapore rallied in the final quarter with Charmaine Soh’s consistent shooting throughout the match at 92.5% helping narrow the margin but Sri Lanka’s win was never under threat.

13th/14th placing match: Samoa 53-42 Fiji

Celtic Dragons’ defender Dee Bolakoro’s tournament ended in defeat as Fiji were beaten by Samoa as the nations finish 13th and 14th respectively. The match could not provide the dramatic final when the sides met on Monday when Fiji scored a couple of seconds after the whistle had gone denying them a draw. It was more comfortable for Samoa on this occasion despite Fiji winning two quarters. It was ultimately the disastrous second period which undid the Pearls as they succumbed 14-3; an 11 point difference which was also the case at full-time.

Dee said: “We started really well but then I think the girls went a bit down so not happy with the result. Personally, I think my performances were alright, I’m happy with my performances.

“I didn’t get enough time on court but with the stats I’m happy with it, so I’ve played really well throughout. More time on court and I will definitely keep improving in every game. I’ve enjoyed the tournament, I’ve enjoyed the experience. It’s my debut so it’s been pretty amazing.”

Session 16:

5th/6th play-off: Zimbabwe 47-77 Jamaica

Jamaica put the disappointment of not making the semi-final behind them by securing a comprehensive win over Zimbabwe. The Sunshine Girls were among the favourites to lift the trophy but once that was unattainable they needed to ensure they finished as high as possible and will now face Malawi in the 5th/6th placing match. Celtic Dragons’ Stacian Facey featured in two quarters, while Severn Stars’ Jodi-Ann Ward completed three as their side dominated throughout. The effervescent Zimbabweans, who handed Ward’s Stars’ teammate Adelaide Muskwe a second World Cup appearance, never lost their spirit and are arguably the tournament’s biggest over-achievers on debut. They will rival Uganda for a 7th place finish.

Ward said: “Basically, we are trying to get over not being in the semi-final. That takes some time but we have to regroup and finish strong.”

5th/6th play-off: Malawi 55-44 Uganda

Another entertaining all-African affair culminated in a solid win for Malawi as they prepare to battle World Number Twos Jamaica for 5th place on Sunday. Manchester Thunder’s Joyce Mvula played the full 60 minutes, converting 38 out of her 43 shots, and London Pulse’s Loreen Ngwira came on at goal-keeper midway through the third quarter to help ensure the Queens did not relinquish the lead they had established. Uganda remained within touching distance of their opponents for long periods and Loughborough Lightning’s Mary Cholhok was effective in the second half with 92.3% shooting accuracy. However, the She-Cranes lacked the solidity in the midcourt to trouble Malawi and they now have their sights on a 7th place finish with Zimbabwe standing in their way.

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

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