On day five of the Vitality Netball World Cup, teams within Group G took a well deserved rest day whilst Group F and Group E enjoyed a new court layout at the M&S Bank Arena as the format was changed to one court rather than two side by side as we edge closer to the final.
We followed all the action:
Group E: Fiji 71-56 Singapore
The Fijians bounced back from their extraordinary defeat to Samoa yesterday to register their first win of the competition. Fiji started the first quarter on top with Dee Bolakoro of Celtic Dragons recording the most intercepts of the game. Singapore began to pull a couple back but Fiji continued to dominate.
Bolakoro commented on Fiji’s win over Singapore: It was amazing, I’m so excited for the girls! They kept pushing even though we were leading. They never gave up until the last whistle.”
Group E: Sri Lanka 65-55 Samoa
Samoa will compete for 13th place at the Vitality Netball World Cup after winning a second consecutive match in Group E, beating Sri Lanka by 10 points.
Sri Lanka beat Singapore by 38 goals yesterday to record their highest ever score at a World Cup.
There was a high intensity throughout the match as the score remained close until the last quarter as Sri Lanka proved they were not prepared to go down without a fight and managed to notch up some quick succession goals and securing victory.
In the final match of the second group stage, Sri Lanka will face Fiji, while Samoa will play Singapore.
Group F: Northern Ireland 28-77 New Zealand
New Zealand proved to be a formidable force, too strong for the Northern Ireland warriors on day 5 as they recorded a comfortable 33 goal lead by half-time. Allowing them room to rotate the bench, the unbeaten side continued to press on in the second half despite Northern Ireland showing grit and determination, fighting right to the final whistle to close the gap.
Fionnuala Toner of Northern Ireland commented on their defeat: “Obviously I was disappointed, nobody likes to lose but fair play to the Silver Ferns, they’re a top class side and they’re full professional so obviously it’s going to be a really tough game for us. I think we showed at the end there what we could do and we stuck to it for 60 minutes.”
Group F: Australia 74-25 Malawi
Australia stamped their authority from the start of their game against Malawi, gaining themselves a comfortable lead within the first 15 minutes. London Pulse star Loreen Ngwira was amongst Malawi’s starting seven and despite putting pressure on Australia’s shooting side, the Aussie Diamonds proved too strong for them.
Loreen Ngwira commented: “I feel bad because we have lost with a big margin, we didn’t want to do that. We wanted to go into top four, we were fighting for top four. I think we just need to fight when we play against Zimbabwe and do better.”
Group F: Zimbabwe 66-41 Barbados
Debutants in the competition Zimbabwe, received a warm welcome on court as they prepared to face Barbados today. Despite not playing in session 10, kicking off the match with an even run, both sides kept the score within two before Zimbabwe took hold of the lead and began to push on.
Zimbabwe continued to dominate throughout the remaining three quarters and increased their lead even further. Barbados struggled to close the gap and were defeated 66 – 41 by Zimbabwe.
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