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Who stood out at the Netball World Cup day three amongst NSL stars?

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:

Wales vs Sri Lanka:

Wales and Sri Lanka took to court today in a hotly contested battle for third place in Pool C, and crucially, progression to the next group stage of the Netball World Cup. The Welsh Feathers fielded a team of seven NSL stars, representing four domestic teams.

Defensive work from Saracens Mavericks’ Christina Shaw and Celtic DragonsElla Powell-Davies was instantly effective. Both players delivered a high work rate throughout the match, taking five interceptions between them. A toe-to-toe start with 100% shooting stats from Sri Lanka gave the Feathers a tough first quarter, only pulling away in the final two minutes – resulting in a 17-11 lead.

Captain, Leeds Rhinos’ Nia Jones, was a huge presence on court at wing defence, both vocally and physically. Tight marking forced errors in the Sri Lankan side and Jones worked seamlessly with Celtic Dragons’ Clare Jones at centre to inject pace and bring the ball right down the court.

The attacking combination of Celtic Dragons’ duo Phillipa Yarranton at goal attack and Georgia Rowe at goal shooter worked well. With the Sri Lankan defence opting to double up on Rowe, Yarranton was able to front cut the circle and mix it up with fast baseline drives. Rowe attracted umpire attention, leading the Feathers to bring Sarie Watkins on at GS halfway through Q2. The quarter saw Sri Lanka tighten the lead to 30-22, despite an eight-minute emergency time following Sri Lankan injury.

After half time, the game continued to be close with balls contested down the court. Team Bath’s Bethan Dyke excelled, tipping at the transverse line to turnover ball for the Feathers, and Georgia Rowe retook the GS position and shot an impressive 49 from 50 for the match. Celtic Dragons’ Zoe Matthewman and Shona O’Dwyer injected fresh legs to tackle Sri Lanka’s game plan of quick passes and sharp angles.

With fifteen minutes remaining the score line read 50-40. The fourth quarter saw Tharjini Sivalingam take the GS bib for Sri Lanka; the tallest player in the tournament changed the attacking dynamics and created hard work for the Welsh defenders. However, Sri Lanka weren’t quite able to catch the Feathers who secured a third-place finish and progression to the next stages of the tournament with a final score of 68-56.

Malawi vs Barbados:

Malawi hit the ground running in the opening few minutes of the game, scoring consecutive goals before Barbados even had a chance to take the ball down to their attacking end. With an exciting match up between Strathclyde SirensTowera Vinkhumbo and Team Baths’ Kadeen Corbin on the cards, this game was going to bring a whole host of excitement. Kadeen’s sister Sasha, of Saracens Mavericks, also playing along side her for the Bajan Gems, the duo were keen to get their first win of the tournament. The Malawi Queens were fighting hard to maintain their lead going into quarter two, but continued playing their own game, leading 20-10.

The Malawi fans were back out in full force, singing, dancing and cheering at any given opportunity to spur on their team. The Queens found their flow and got quarter two off to a flying start. A few changes for Barbados after three minutes made to rattle the opposition, but the Corbin sisters were still giving their all. With Sasha moving to centre, the Bajan Gems vision opened, allowing Kadeen more room to enter the circle. However, Sirens’ Vinkhumbo was hot on her heels and picked up a few interceptions from outside the circle. Some stoppage time to allow for blood clear up, allowed the pace to ramp up even more from Malawi once play had resumed, who extended their lead going into half time, 43-22.

The third quarter was full of interceptions, clashes and physicality from both sides. With Malawi holding their extensive lead, the Bajan Gems were just keen to get as many goals on the board as possible whilst still having a good time. Vinkhumbo searched for every loose ball possible, succeeding in the majority of her hunts. Kadeen Corbin’s 95% shooting stats were a true reflection of her performance as she was not afraid to turn to post and put the ball in the net. The score going into the final quarter was 64-35.

As per the last three quarters, quarter four brought even more fire from both sides. The Bajan Gems continuing to play their way and not let the pressure from the Malawi fans or scoreline get in the way. A tough battle which saw the Malawi Queens come out victorious, 84-48 and look ahead to the next game.

England vs Scotland

Team Bath’s Imogen Allison kicks off the game with England’s first centre pass, making its way straight into the shooting circle. The Thistles were quick to respond with only three passes to make it to their attacking end, where Strathclyde Sirens goal shooter Bethan Goodwin sinks her first shot. As the first quarter progressed, London Pulses’ Liv Tchine found herself home alone in the circle a few times as Thistles defence, made up of Emily Nicholl and Rachel Conway from Sirens, were pulled from outside the D. Loughborough Lightning’s Fran Williams forced a held ball in the Thistles shooting circle, with Helen Housby converting the turnover. A strong start from both sides, but the Vitality Roses went into the lead at the end of the first quarter, 14-9.

Manchester Thunder’s Iona Christian resumed play for the second quarter – another short sharp pass route straight to goal got Scotland on the board in the second 15 minutes. With England’s centre court picking up their pace and increasing their zonal pressure, the Thistles attacking unit seemed to slow down. The number of passes seemed to increase albeit still managing to get the ball under the net. Layla Guscoth of Surrey Storm was tenacious in trying to win ball off the Thistles centre pass. However, that didn’t faze the Thistles attacking unit as Sirens’ Cerys Cairns danced around her defenders into the circle. The Vitality Roses maintained their lead at half time, 31-18.

Now known as Scotland’s most capped player, and Sirens’ athlete Claire Maxwell, returned to court for the Thistles coming up against England’s Laura Malcolm. Every pass was followed by a clear into space which opened up her Scottish attacking end. With Emma Barrie now in their shooting circle, the tall shooter became their primary target. London Pulse defender Funmi Fadoju was keeping Barrie out the circle however in a 1:1 battle for the space. Niamh McCall’s long bombs were coming thick and fast as her confidence to go to post was unmatched. The score going into the final quarter was 46-29.

As the final 15 minutes came around, both sides worked hard to rack up as many goals as they could for their teams. Williams and Barrie tussled for the ball on many occasions with both units scrapping around when it was loose on the floor. Fadoju made a clean intercept across the Thistles’ shooting circle with eight minutes remaining, which Eleanor Cardwell managed to convert. With the Thistles making numerous changes, the attempt to unsettle the Vitality Roses didn’t do too well as Malcolm continued to hunt for the ball on circle edge, winning it on the occasion. As the clock counted down the last few seconds, the Vitality Roses knew they would win their group and head into the next round as Pool B winners. The final score was 62-37.

Uganda vs Trinidad and Tobago:

Loughborough Lightning’s Mary Cholhok joined the game in the second quarter at goal shooter for Uganda, with Celtic Dragons’ Shaquanda Greene-Noel coming in at goal defence for Trinidad & Tobago.

Cholhok again worked effectively with Captain Irene Eyaru to maximise on possession and build on their lead to deliver a half time score of 33-18. Cholhok was agile; with circle rotation and a mix of feeds keeping the Calypso Girls’ on their toes.

Trinidad & Tobago applied their speed; the ball flew down the court with mid-court athletes showcasing explosive athleticism to outpace their opponents and feed the shooting circle with impact.

Greene-Noel took the goal keeper bib in the third quarter, tasked with applying pressure to Cholhok. The body-on-body intensity was apparent, with Cholhok working hard outside of the circle, as well as in, to penetrate Greene-Noel and Shaniya Morgan’s defensive partnership. Greene-Noel’s pressure was impactful, with Cholhok having to look back to the transverse line at points, however the She Cranes accelerated, scoring eleven goals in a row to take the lead to 54-27.

The final quarter saw the head-to-head between Cholhok and Greene-Noel continue, with the latter opting to let Mary leave the circle and maintain guard of the space under the post forcing Cholhok to shoot from range. Cholhok was unfazed, giving a performance the commentators described as ‘a highlights package’ within itself and shooting at 97% accuracy. The She Cranes stamped a dominant victory of 74-34 and undeniably underlined their ambitions to reach the podium in this World Cup.

Tonga vs Zimbabwe:

The fans were out in full force for this game against two countries who had never met before. Their singing and dancing really set the vibe for the last game of Preliminary Round One. Surrey Storm star Felisitus Kwangwa started in goal defence for her Zimbabwe side, making an early tip. This game marks her reaching 100 caps for her team and what a tournament to reach that achievement in! The Zimbabwe attacking unit showed control in their play across their shooting circle and were clear in their transitions from one end of the court to the other. Tonga’s wing attack was crucial in making sure her team kept up with the Zimbabwe scoreline, allowing her shooters equal opportunities to put the ball in the net. Their goal shooter has been prolific so far in this tournament, surprising some of the top teams with her shooting ability. The score going into half time was 27-24.

The second half saw Zimbabwe fight back against a strong Tonga side. With the ball flying end to end in quick succession, both teams were wanting to edge ahead just that bit further. Kwangwa as strong as ever in her defensive unit was doing everything she could to try and turn the ball but the attacking unit for Tonga just posed too strong. Tonga continued to push Zimbabwe the whole way as it came down to the wire. Former NSL star Cat Tuivaiti came on in the last five minutes for Tonga, still impressing everyone with her crazy skills and tricks. After only having a four goal advantage for the majority of the game, Tonga concluded their game successfully, winning 54-46. The song of Tongan celebration could be heard as the hooter went to declare the match finished.

Jamaica vs South Africa:

An electric atmosphere which felt like a final was apparent as Jamaica and South Africa took the court to determine the top of their pool C table. Manchester Thunder’s Lenize Potgieter started at Goal Shooter with Shamera Sterling in the Goal Keeper bib for Jamaica. Potgieter made a striking start, with a 100% shooting rate in the first quarter and two offensive rebounds. It wasn’t enough however to stop the Sunshine Girls powering the ball through the court to Goal Shooter Jhaniele Fowler and taking the first quarter 16-12.

With the pressure mounting in the SPAR Proteas’ shooting circle, Nichole Taljaard took the Goal Attack bib part way through Q2 to create a new combination with Potgieter for the Jamaican defence to contend with. South Africa played authoritatively when in possession; not forcing the ball and capitalising on a high work rate. Jamaica’s flair and high feeds to Fowler made a difference, with the team extending their lead by half time to 32-26.

Q3 saw an explosion in intensity from the Sunshine Girls, delivering nine goals in a row to pull the score away even further. Sterling was commanding in the Proteas’ attacking circle, denying Potgieter many attempts on goal and stealing rebounds from the host nation. South Africa were unable to counter, and at the end of the third quarter they trailed 52-29.

Looking to make a drastic change to the momentum in the final quarter, the Proteas brought Saracens Mavericks Ine-Mari Venter into the Goal Shooter position and Manchester Thunder’s Shadine Van der Merwe in at Wing Defence. Venter’s holding opened up space for feeds and the Proteas’ made an instant dent on Jamaica’s lead. Van der Merwe’s fresh legs and strong arms made attacking life harder for Jamaica but it wasn’t enough to overturn Jamaica’s huge third quarter win, and the Sunshine Girls topped Pool C with a 67-49 victory over the hosts.

Make sure to follow all NSL social media channels for updates continuing over the rest of the tournament: @NetballSL on TwitterInstagram and TikTok.

 

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