Whilst the Vitality Roses celebrated a successful start to their series with the Jamaica Sunshine Girls, England A came out on top in a curtain raiser game with the Scottish Thistles, capping off a successful week.
Made up of some of the brightest talents from the Vitality Roses and Future Roses programmes, England A came together for a series of fixtures to further their international experience.
The team played two behind-closed-doors matches against Wales and Jamaica before opening the Vitality Netball International Series on Wednesday night in front of 7,000 fans in the AO Arena.
Captained by Zara Everitt, England A won each of the four quarters scoring 14 goals in the first three before pulling away in the final quarter to see out a 62-44 victory over the world number 10 side.
All 10 of Kat Ratnapala’s side came on for minutes during the game, including Amy Carter who returned to action in a Roses dress for the first time since rupturing her ACL.
Back in business 🕴️♀️
After missing a year after rupturing her ACL, Amy Carter is relishing her England A opportunities ✨ pic.twitter.com/a54ndLMiTh
— England Netball (@EnglandNetball) January 11, 2023
Kat Ratnapala commented: “It was an absolute pleasure to lead and work with athletes from the Vitality Roses and Futures Roses programmes to form England A.
“Playing three different styles within a space of a week was fantastic prep for those who have missed out on international competition such as the Netball World Youth Cup and to continue to grow their international understanding and experience.
“The opportunity to step out in front of a packed Manchester crowd was fantastic for our England A squad. The crowd were electric and it was a fantastic arena for netball with fans so close to the court.”
Speaking to the BBC after the game, Scottish Thistles Head Coach Tamsin Greenway added: “We’re six months out from the World Cup and to have this opportunity against a quality side is amazing for us.”
More of England’s up-and-coming talent take to court this weekend as the Future Roses take on the England Thorns – the England men’s netball team – in back-to-back curtain raisers.
Follow us on Twitter for updates from the game.
Don’t forget the Vitality Roses second game of the Vitality Netball International Series against Jamaica is available to watch live on BBC 2 and BBC iPlayer from 2pm on Saturday.