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Netball World Cup Day 2: NSL icons in action

Welcome back to the Netball World Cup x Netball Super League (NSL) updates blog, where you can keep on top of all that’s going on in Cape Town! In this article, you will find score updates, standout players and much more. Come back daily to read about your NSL stars!

Fixtures: 

New Zealand vs Uganda:

Ugandan shooter, Mary Cholhok started this game against New Zealand. The 6ft 7, Loughborough Lightning star was rested for the majority of yesterday’s game but came out strong in the first quarter against New Zealand this morning. Both teams started off strong with New Zealand making a few early turnovers, but Uganda were quick to respond by edging one ahead after 10 minutes. After the start that the Silver Ferns had against Trinidad and Tobago in yesterday’s opening game, Uganda definitely surprised the Kiwi’s. The first quarter ended 13-11.

The second quarter was another equally matched 15 minutes; going goal for goal which eventually lead to New Zealand breaking away in the final few minutes. Some long balls into the New Zealand shooting circle created opportunities for Uganda to pick them up but goal shooter Grace Nweke’s height was just too much to go against. The score going into half time was 25-21.

With Cholhok causing upset in the New Zealand defensive unit by exiting the shooting circle, her confidence grew in making those movements and securing her shots. Uganda picked up a circle edge turnover on the Silver Ferns’ first centre pass of the second half; Cholhok again was quick to sink this and make the conversion for her team. However, New Zealand were quick to respond and broke away again, going into the final quarter 38-32.

The New Zealand flare was too much to handle for the She Cranes in the final quarter. They extended their lead by 10 goals. However, Uganda still worked to the final whistle, where the final score was 54-44. With this the closest scoreline ever between these two teams, Uganda made sure to show New Zealand what they were made of. The She Cranes next face Trinidad and Tobago tomorrow at 3pm UK time.

Jamaica vs Wales:

With Celtic Dragons, Saracens Mavericks, Team Bath and Leeds Rhinos all representing for Wales, this game against Jamaica was one not to miss. With Jamaica not scoring a goal until four minutes had passes, Ella Powell-Davies made a huge turnover for her side which allowed Phillipa Yarranton to convert. The Sunshine Girls did not make it easy for the Welsh Feathers but the tenacity of the team allowed them to go on a five goal run with circle feed assists from Shona O’Dwyer that allowed Georgia Rowe to sink some more shots. Quarter one ended 23-11.

The second 15 minutes proved difficult for Wales to keep up with the execution of passes delivered to Jhaniele Fowler of Jamaica. Her height in the circle combined with her accuracy of shooting made it tough for Christina Shaw of Saracens Mavericks to move round the body. However, she adapted her style of play by coming off the body which seemed to work better for her defensive unit. The Sunshine Girls held onto their lead quite comfortably going into half time, 44-23.

In the third quarter, the Welsh Feathers game out fighting, with Clare Jones making her mark in the centre position. Zoe Matthewman made her Netball World Cup debut. The Celtic Dragons goal attack got herself into the groove against fourth in the world, Jamaica. After a few shots blocked by powerhouse Shameera Sterling, Matthewman found her feet within the squad and helped drive the ball down to her counterpart, Rowe. With Wales not scoring a second half goal until 10 minutes had passed, their aim for the fourth quarter was to shut down the Jamaican attacking unit. The score going into the final quarter was 58-29.

The final quarter saw Wales score 31 goals after two minutes which meant that 5,000 goals in total had been scored at the Netball World Cup. With O’Dwyer retuning to court, her movement around the circle edge allowed the free flowing movement of her shooters to gain access to the circle easier than usual. With Captain and Leeds Rhinos skipper Nia Jones shouting encouragement from the sidelines, this spurred her team on to keep pushing until the end. With the final score being 75-40,Wales proved that you should celebrate every little achievement and push until you can push no more. They next face Sri Lanka in the final stage of Preliminary Stage One.

Scotland vs Barbados

A slow start for both teams as both teams are battling for that third place spot in the pool. Team Bath goal attack, Kadeen Corbin opens the scoring for her Barbados side but Scotland were quick to retaliate as Manchester Thunder’s Iona Christian drives beautifully to circle edge to deliver the ball to SirensBethan Goodwin. Meanwhile, Claire Maxwell who plays for Strathclyde Sirens, was celebrating making history by becoming Scotland’s most capped player. Maxwell has now received 122 caps for Scotland, a real feat to be proud of. After a few back and forth moments between the Thistles, they go into quarter two leading by three goals, 11-8.

Saracens Mavericks skipper Sasha Corbin started the second quarter in wing attack coming straight out of the blocks and making their game of netball look easy. Her delivery of passes to sister Kadeen were with pinpoint precision. Hannah Leighton of Celtic Dragons was hot on the heels of her opposition which eventually lead to a turnover for Scotland. However, the Bajan Gems were not messing around with their response as they quickly closed the gap between the two sides. The score going into half time was all square, 23-23.

Quarter three, also known as the championship quarter. Both sides came back from the break pushing even harder than they were before wanting to get that breakaway. Leighton picked up an early turnover for the Thistles which was taken down to goal. Emma Barrie of Sirens was quickly brought onto court following a spout of missed goals, scoring her first attempt at goal. This is Barrie’s second Netball World Cup after making her debut back in 2019 in Liverpool. With Kadeen Corbin scoring at 88%, the fourth quarter would bring a huge push in the Thistles defensive end to continue to hold onto their lead. Quarter three ended 38-33.

The final quarter was feisty! Going goal for goal, taking every challenge in their stride and digging deep. The Corbin sisters showed their skills with some no look passes to one another as well as a few secret head nods to direct the other into the space. However Scotland were quick to pick up on this as Emily Nicholl from Sirens managed to pluck some interceptions. With Barrie being a target for the Thistles, her height as well as her movement is what allowed the Thistles to pick up their first and crucial win of the tournament, 53-44.

South Africa vs Sri Lanka

With a first day victory against Wales, The SPAR Proteas came out looking to maintain that momentum against Sri Lanka. Their first quarter did exactly that, posting a 24-9 lead.

Manchester Thunder’s Shadine Van Der Merwe proved clinical in the goal defence bib; applying solid defensive pressure and denying the Sri Lankan attackers many openings to feed the circle. Van Der Merwe also demonstrated her speed down the court, passing the ball with pinpoint accuracy to her mid-court team mates, particularly ex-Surrey Storm and Wasps player Bongiwe Msomi. With a half time score of 43-8 to South Africa, Van Der Merwe was rested for a quarter.

Looking for a final quarter push to extend the 68-24 score, the Proteas switched things up throughout the court  with Van Der Merwe taking the wing defence bib, and Saracens Mavericks Ine-Mari Venter stepping on at goal shooter and claiming her 50th cap. Following yesterday’s POM performance, Venter continued to demonstrate world-class form; delivering a fantastic last-second lay-up to secure an 87% shooting average and help deliver a convincing 87-32 win for the SPAR Proteas.

South Africa further proved they’re a force to be reckoned with ahead of their much-anticipated clash against Jamaica tomorrow. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka will be looking to build on their performances so far and seek opportunity in their final preliminary round game against Wales.

England vs Malawi:

The Vitality Roses and The Malawi Queens kicked off an instantly fierce competition; both physical and fast. From the get-go, high-intensity defensive work from both teams put all attackers under pressure. For England, yesterday’s POM, London PulsesFunmi Fadoju started at Goal Keeper with Loughborough Lightning’s Fran Williams at Goal Defence. Trying to keep the ball out of Malawi’s circle proved difficult, as The Queens were first on the scoreboard despite tips from Williams.

Strathclyde Sirens’ Towera Vinkhumbo opened the match at GD, instantly pressurising the partnership between Goal Attack Helen Housby and Goal Shooter Eleanor Cardwell.

Leeds Rhinos’ 2024 signing Geva Mentor came on at GK for the second quarter, pairing with Fadujo and then Surrey Storm’s Layla Guscoth following an injury whistle from Fadujo. Team Bath’s Imogen Allison moved up the court to Centre, working effectively with co-captain, Manchester Thunder’s Nat Metcalf who played the first half at Wing Attack. Metcalf effectively controlled the attack, landing on the circle edge and distributing the ball effectively to the shooters who were able to steady and deliver a 100% shooting rate in the second quarter, resulting in a half time lead of 29-20.

Into Q3 and the pressure intensified for Malawi whose centre passes often went backwards to find Vinkhumbo at GD, and many attacking plays being forced back to the transverse line as the Roses started to pull away in front.

London Pulse’s Chelsea Pitman took the WA bib in the third quarter, feeding the Housby-Cardwell combination and demonstrating patience with possession to find the best option.

Malawi refused to slow down and were quick to adapt to positional changes, keeping the Roses defence on their toes with ex-Manchester Thunder’s Joyce Mvula shooting with accuracy.

Into the final quarter with a 48-29 lead, the Roses explored their combinations, bringing London Pulse’s Jade Clarke on at C and fellow Pulse teammate Liv Tchine at GS, with Thunder’s Metcalf into the GA position. Clarke brought her trademark steadiness; working seamlessly with Pulse teammates Pitman and Tchine to find options complemented by Metcalf. Overall, the Roses shot at 95% – an improvement on their first match and showing the shooting strength across the side.

Siren’s Vinkhumbo moved into the GK position for Q4 and delivered a stunning interception almost instantly, offering a huge turnover opportunity for Malawi who took the ball at lightning speed down the court. However, the physicality and penalty-rate drew a formal warning for Vinkhumbo who was forced to address the on-body approach for the closing phase of the game.

As the final whistle below, the score read 62-39 to the Vitality Roses; marking their 100th World Cup win as they move into the final game of the preliminary stage against Scotland tomorrow.

Trinidad and Tobago vs Singapore

In the first half, Trinidad and Tobago got their second game of the tournament underway after scoring off their first centre pass of the tournament. With Celtic Dragons star Shaquanda Greene-Noel being rested for the time being, it was up to her teammates to shut down the Singapore attacking unit. Singapore got their first goal in the board after four minutes but Trinidad and Tobago were quick to return the favour and add another one to their scoresheet. With still no sign of Greene-Noel, Trinidad and Tobago continued to pick up on Singapore’s unforced errors in the second quarter, particularly in the shooting circle. The first half ended 21-19.

The second half started with an appearance from Greene-Noel who quickly got to work by making several interceptions for her team. With Singapore starting to close the gap, the Calypso girls needed to step up their game and capitalise on their turnovers. The dancing queen returned in the form of Greene-Noel, but mainly with delight with her team’s entry to the attacking circle. The space left by the Singapore defensive team allowed Trinidad and Tobago’s goal shooter to sink the shot with ease. A few long bombs scored by the goal attack for Singapore made the game just that little more exciting as the gap was closing. With the clock counting down and the effort doubling by Trinidad and Tobago, they managed to race ahead by going on a goal scoring spree. The game ended 49-36 with Trinidad and Tobago taking their first win of the tournament.

 

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