After six days of intense Nets, the World Indoor Netball Championships in South Africa came to a close on Saturday.
All three England Nets teams – Ladies, Mixed and U21 Women – were all in contention for a medal in the Super 7’s category having already learned their Super 6’s fate earlier in the week.
Here is how the final day of the tournament (Saturday 10th August) panned out…
RSA 55-33 ENG
Starting VII: Kalea Stagg (GK) | Abby Miles (GD) | Emily Geear (WD) | Hannah Raine (C) | Vanessa Beal (WA) | Ziana Butt (GA) | Brooke Vivian (GS).
It was yet another early start for the England Nets U21 Women team on Saturday and South Africa’s impressive start only highlighted this further. The young side were quickly behind and found themselves facing a 10-goal deficit at half-time. Despite their continued efforts, the English could not mount a comeback and had their World Indoor Netball Championships cruelly ended by defeat. The squad were applauded off, as ever, by the parents, friends and family who travelled to South Africa.
Player of the Match: Hannah Raine.
England Nets U21 Women Head Coach Shelley Copland said: “We’ve had a great tour. The girls have played very well. It wasn’t to be but the work rate was amazing and they should all be proud of what they have achieved.
“We have worked so hard and achieved so much. For a squad that had very little experience in Nets, as well as being really young, they have shown so much maturity as a squad. We may not have won but I cannot fault their enthusiasm and work ethic.”
U21 Women final placings:
2) New Zealand
3) South Africa
4) England Nets
England Nets U21 Women 6’s Player of the Tournament: Marney Ross-Johnson.
England Nets U21 Women 7’s Player of the Tournament: Brooke Vivian.
RSA 49-56 ENG
Starting VII: James Everley (GK) | Jen Walsh (GD) | Katy Pell (WD) | Simon Taylor (C) | Janis John (WA) | Geoff MacKay (GA) | Charlotte Jordan (GS).
England Nets Mixed made history on the final day of the tournament when they defeated South Africa 49-56, ensuring Mixed’s first-ever win in the Super 7’s category. Ryan Allan’s side walked onto court knowing they had pushed the hosts close in their two previous encounters this summer. England remained composed in the opening stages and managed to retain their structure while still converting their shots.
South Africa ended the first quarter ahead but, thanks to some tactical changes, the English managed to see themselves in front by one goal at half-time. The hosts succumbed to relentless pressure in the third quarter and, while momentum shifted slightly in the fourth, England remained strong to seal a momentous first Super 7’s victory.
Player of the Match: Geoff MacKay.
England Nets Mixed Head Coach Ryan Allan said: “Once again, this England Nets Mixed team have created history. Never before have the Mixed team won a game of 7’s at a World Indoor Netball Championships.”
NWZ 65-28 ENG
Starting VII: Stuart Nattrass (GK) | Jen Walsh (GD) | Katy Pell (WD) | Simon Taylor (C) | Janis John (WA) | Geoff MacKay (GA) | Charlotte Jordan (GS).
Following on from a highly intense quarter-final game with South Africa, the players struggled to maintain that intensity in the clash with New Zealand. The squad were feeling the consequences of a gruelling six days of sport and subsequently struggled to gain a foothold in this fixture. New Zealand quickly took the lead and provided very few opportunities to form a comeback. The players pushed right until the end and can look back on a successful Super 7’s campaign as they finished third for the first time.
Player of the Match: Katy Pell.
England Nets Mixed Head Coach Ryan Allan said: “It’s a tough way to end our tournament but we need to focus on the positives and celebrate delivering the best results the Mixed squad have ever achieved.
“I am so proud of the hard work and progress this England Nets Mixed team has put in and made over the last year to close the gap between the other nations.”
Mixed final placings:
2) New Zealand
3) England Nets
4) South Africa
England Nets Mixed 6’s Player of the Tournament: Geoff MacKay.
England Nets Mixed 7’s Player of the Tournament: Janis John.
NWZ 45-50 ENG
Starting VII: Florence Edwards (GK) | Kayleigh Jean (GD) | Kara Miller (WD) | Thea-Rose Thompson (C) | Natalie Miller (WA) | Francesca Wells (GA) | Lucy Herdman (GS).
After finishing fourth in their group, England Nets Ladies faced New Zealand to see who would play Australia in the preliminary final later in the day. England’s cause was helped by a strong start and great patience shown by their attack, which helped see them go into half-time level. What followed was arguably the team’s best spell of the tournament as they continued to resist any notion of a New Zealand comeback. The final quarter saw the English pull away and win the game by five goals.
Player of the Match: Kayleigh Jean.
England Nets Ladies Assistant Head Coach Faye Bateson said: “The Ladies team finally believed that they could win and it’s great to see the improvement over the tournament.”
AUS 58-47 ENG
Starting VII: Caroline Buckland (GK) | Florence Edwards (GD) | Kayleigh Jean (WD) | Natasha Khatib (C) | Natalie Miller (WA) | Francesca Wells (GA) | Lucy Herdman (GS).
Going into their meeting with Australia, England Nets Ladies were the current holders of this competition after success in New Zealand three years ago. This heavyweight clash promised fireworks and the first-half certainly produced them. With Natalie Miller’s leadership in attack, England managed to go goal-for-goal with their opponents during the first quarter. Super 7’s is Australia’s speciality, though, and they came out fighting in the second quarter as they recorded a seven-goal lead at half-time.
A 14-14 draw in the third quarter set up a tight fourth but Australia took the opportunity to increase the pressure on England, who struggled to keep up with their opposition. England Nets Ladies eventually finished third while their Australian counterparts suffered defeat to hosts South Africa in the final.
Player of the Match: Natalie Miller
England Nets Ladies Assistant Head Coach Faye Bateson said: “The Ladies team have developed a large amount over both [Super 6’s and Super 7’s] competitions. Not one of them should be disappointed with their overall performance. It has been a pleasure working with the girls who have brought so much passion and commitment to the tournament and training during the run-up to South Africa 2019.”
Ladies final placings:
1) South Africa
3) England Nets
4) New Zealand
England Nets Ladies 6’s Player of the Tournament: Francesca Wells.
England Nets Ladies 7’s Player of the Tournament: Kayleigh Jean.
For more information on the tournament, visit the World Indoor Netball Association website.
Photo credit: Action Sports.