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Eleanor Cardwell shoots against ex-Loughborough Lightning Shamera Sterling

The first match of the Vitality Netball Nations Cup day three saw the New Zealand Silver Ferns cement their place in the final, after a 48-41 win against South Africa SPAR Proteas.

Match 1: New Zealand 48-41 South Africa

Three Vitality Netball Superleague players started on the bench for South Africa – Pulse Netball’s Sigi Burger, Team Bath’s Khanyisa Chawane and Sirens Netball’s Zanele Vimbela.

New Zealand managed to edge out in front early in the first quarter and held onto a three goal lead at the break.

Towards the end of quarter two the Silver Ferns started to put a bit more distance between the two teams with the score at 27-20 by half-time.

It was a courageous performance from South Africa who managed to bring it back to within two midway through the third quarter, leaving the fourth all to play for.

New Zealand proved to be too strong for the SPAR Proteas, regaining the momentum in the final quarter and securing the win.

 

Match 2: Vitality Roses 66-70 Jamaica

The Vitality Roses narrowly missed out on the Vitality Netball Nations Cup final after a 66-70 defeat to the Jamaica Sunshine Girls in the second match of the day.

Jade Clarke (Wasps Netball) got things started with the first centre pass of the game and Eleanor Cardwell (Manchester Thunder) capitalised on the Vitality Roses’ possession by sinking the first goal. The score was 15-18 at the end of quarter one.

Thirlby switched things up heading into the second quarter, bringing Chelsea Pitman on as WA and moving Natalie Haythornthwaite to GA, meaning Kadeen Corbin (Saracens Mavericks) stepped off court.

Rising star Amy Carter (Manchester Thunder) was brought into the mix at WA a few minutes before the second quarter came to a close.

The end of the first half saw the Sunshine Girls keep the upper hand with the score set at 31-39.

A fierce third quarter came to a close with Jamaica leading 44-57, despite Thirlby making a strategic change in the defending end with Razia Quashie (Saracens Mavericks) coming on as GK. Jamaica and Celtic Dragons, Latanya Wilson was also brought onto court in this quarter.

England refused to relent in the final 15 minutes, which saw George Fisher (Saracens Mavericks) come on as GS, Cardwell move to GA and Haythornthwaite move to WA.

Despite leaving everything out on the court in a gutsy fightback, the thrilling encounter saw the Roses just miss out on the final, losing 66-70.

 

The Vitality Roses will now face the South Africa SPAR Proteas at 14:30 on Sunday 26 January for the bronze medal and the Jamaica Sunshine Girls will contest the final against the New Zealand Silver Ferns at 17:00.

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