Vitality Netball World Cup – Day two

The second day of the Vitality Netball World Cup got off to a flying start on Saturday 13 July in front of another sell-out crowd at the M&S Bank Arena.

We continued to keep an eye out on all the action taking place. Here’s your roundup for the day:

Session 3:

Group A: Australia 73-37 Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe’s vocal supporters were back in numbers as the Vitality Netball World Cup debutants had the small matter of facing the defending champions Australia on day two and they raised the roof when Joice Takaidza scored the Gems’ first goal. It was the Diamonds in the driving seat though at half-time with a comfortable 39-18 lead. However, Zimbabwe delivered an inspired third-quarter display – with Australia narrowly edging it 15-13. The world number ones exuded class though as they closed out a comfortable 73-37 win to make it two from two.

Group A: Northern Ireland 67-50 Sri Lanka

Saracens Mavericks’ Michelle Drayne, Manchester Thunder’s Caroline O’Hanlon and London Pulses’ Fionnuala Toner took to the court as part of Northern Ireland’s starting seven. Despite Sri Lanka’s best efforts and brilliant shooting statistics, Northern Ireland secured their first victory of the tournament.

Caroline O’Hanlon, who secured her 100th cap when stepping on court for Northern Ireland today, said: “I’m just elated to get out on court and get a win more importantly. It’s an honour every time you get an opportunity to play for Northern Ireland, I’m just so proud that on such an occasion we were able to get a win also.”

Group B: New Zealand 78-25 Barbados

New Zealand backed up their impressive opening game win with another comfortable victory as they defeated Barbados 78-25 to remain top of Group B at the Vitality Netball World Cup.

The Silver Ferns had won all seven of the previous World Cup contests between the sides and after a competitive first quarter, they began to show their quality and ultimately ran out clear winners. After a superb win against Singapore yesterday, Barbados entered the game with confidence but as the tie wore on, they were out classed by Noeline Taurua’s ruthless side.

Group B: Malawi 87-38 Singapore

A dominant Malawi put yesterday’s loss aside as they blitzed through Singapore on day 2 of the Vitality Netball World Cup. With the Queen’s attacking circle shooting at 95%, and with a steady flow of ball from the defence, it wasn’t long before Malawi found their footing and ploughed quickly onwards, leading 27-11 at the end of the first quarter. They continued as they started and saw out the game comfortably.

Joyce Mvula (Manchester Thunder) commented on her team’s performance “I feel much better, yesterday was a hard time for us so it’s good that we kept going and were able to use what we discussed last night out on court. We now need to maintain the momentum going into tomorrow’s match. It’s not going to be easy but we just need to be strong.”

Session 4:

Group C: Jamaica 68-43 Trinidad and Tobago

What looked to be a keenly-contested game was turned on its head in the second quarter when Jamaica came out firing on all cylinders, scoring 16 unanswered goals, and from then on the result was never in question.

The Sunshine Girls held a narrow 17-15 advantage at the first break but by half time Jamaica were looking comfortable with a 42-21 cushion. Both sides continued to trade goals, moving the score along to 57-34 at the end of the third quarter. Trinidad and Tobago kept pressing but it wasn’t enough and the Sunshine Girls finished the game winners.

Group C: South Africa 90-35 Fiji

Wasps star Bongiwe Msomi captained South Africa from the start to earn her 100th cap as they thrashed Fiji to set up a top spot decider with Jamaica tomorrow.

Speaking of her 100 caps: “It means so much to have achieved 100 caps. As honoured as I am, because of the hard work I put in behind the scenes, but I’m really just so glad to see the performance the girls put in on court today and to see them really stepping up. For me it’s always been about joining the team and playing some great netball for my country, sometimes you try to do that and it doesn’t happen but when it does happen you can take the pride from that.”

Group D: England 70-34 Scotland

The Vitality Roses made it two wins from two, beating Scotland 70-34.

England coach Tracey Neville chose to rotate her squad; Jo Harten, Geva Mentor and captain Serena Guthrie were all named on the sub’s bench from the start.

By contrast, Gail Parata – Neville’s counterpart for Scotland – selected an unchanged starting seven, keeping faith with the players who had earned their opening-day win over Samoa.

Jade Clarke commented on the team’s performance: “Serena said to us before the game that I want to use this match to really build and I think it was another step up, it wasn’t perfect by any means but I think we’re getting better each game so I’m really looking forward to another hit out against another style again in Samoa.

“I think as elite athletes you always have to have that little bit of nerves, I’d be worried if you weren’t a little bit nervous but I think we use them to our advantage and are all just loving being out there playing right now.”

Group D: Uganda 69-48 Samoa

The Ugandans got their first win on the board with Loughborough Lightning’s Mary Cholhok getting her first start of the tournament and World Cup debut. It was Uganda who settled quickest into the match as they raced ahead and by the end of the first quarter Uganda took a 22-11 lead. At the halfway mark, Uganda led 40-23 and were thoroughly in control of the contest from then on. Cholhok ended the match having converted 35 of her 40 attempts.

Mary Cholhok spoke about her Vitality Netball World Cup debut: “It feels good to have gotten out on court today. The team has a good energy and I was ready to smash it so was really excited. We are going to keep learning and keep moving each day until the end. It was amazing to make my World Cup debut and also play alongside Peace. We are not going to stop here, it’s great.”

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