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Netball - 09. December 2009.

Scots stay strong against spirited Singapore

 


Tanzania collect their first win out of Africa at the Nations Cup 2009

                                                                                                      

Today marked the halfway stage of the round-robin portion of the Netball Nations Cup 2009. Some teams continued to fire while others hit a slump in form three games into the tournament. Northern Ireland kept their winning form in tact with a 66-41 win over Malaysia who are still searching for a victory but the Celts were a shadow of their previous performances.

SIN-vs-SCO_081209_1.jpg

 

 “Today we didn’t have the same level of cohesion as we did in previous games and we looked under more pressure today. I thought our centre Lisa McCaffrey had a great game and was probably the only player that came close to her full potential today,” said Irish Coach Elaine Rice.

SIN-vs-SCO_071209_2.jpg

 

Both teams played an edgy opening quarter and the shooters missed vital opportunities to move ahead. Despite looking rattled and at times scrappy, the greens were able to control centre court through McCaffrey and direct play to their advantage. The Malaysians started to settle in the latter part of the match with Husna Husin Ali scoring 14 from 16 attempts at goal but the 18 point advantage that Northern Ireland had ground out in the first half was too much to claw back.

 

The gutsy Africans from Tanzania were next on court to face the Canadians and they continued to improve and recorded their first victory in the Nations Cup and first victory outside Africa (32-43).

 

They moved the ball slickly down court though struggled at times with the height and accuracy of Canada’s shooters who kept the margin within four points each quarter and drew the final period. Tanzanian centre Farava Malaki was in the thick of the action throughout, switching play and keeping her opponent guessing and overturning possession. Down by seven points at the break (15-22), Canada brought Jessie Evans into their central role. Despite Canada having a higher shooting percentage, they were unable to turn it around and will now regroup and focus on the challenge of the Scots tomorrow.

 

Captain of Tanzania, Jacqueline Sikozi was very pleased with her team’s result saying, “We lost our first two matches because we did not have any experience but now we are good enough to win and we did that today. I think we can do well against Malaysia tomorrow.”

 

The atmosphere at Toa Payoh Sports Hall built through the evening to its climax when Singapore took on world number 13 Scotland in the tightest and toughest so far.

 

The hosts fielded their strongest seven to start and defended diligently with Jean Ng and Lin Qingyi doing their best for the entire match to halt Scottish Captain Lesley MacDonald’s fine form under the post. Three points behind after the first quarter, Scotland pulled back to draw level at half time and the third quarter also ended all-square which set up the nail-biting finale. Local fans chanted ‘defence’ as Singapore (who lost twice to Scotland in away matches in May this year) worked for revenge and a second win in the tournament. They came agonisingly close but victory slipped away in the final minutes, going down 28-33.

 

Scotland march undefeated to the fourth day to face Canada and Scottish Coach Denise Holland is encouraged by another strong performance. She said, “That was a lot tougher than we had expected with Singapore’s first-time defence skills remarkably improved from when we last met. In the end it came down to our mental composure at key points in the final period and the experience of our goal shooter to get the win.”

 

Singapore’s coach, Jill McIntosh echoed her sentiments saying, “It was a hard slog out there for both sides and a wonderful match. We are getting better with each game and just made a few unforced errors and lost focus at the end to lose a match we could have won. Tomorrow is another game and we expect a tough encounter with Northern Ireland who also have a tall shooter and are coming off the back of three easy wins.”

 

Scotland are using this tournament to develop their full squad ahead of the 2011 World Netball Championships. Not all competing nations will make it back to Singapore in 2011 but there is still a real chance for some and this event is crucial in preparation for the upcoming qualifying tournaments in their respective continents next year.

 

Looking ahead to the worlds, Elaine Rice feels this tournament could provide her team with an edge to make the grade. She concluded, “This tournament is fantastic. These games are vital for us to try and improve our ranking which helps our quest for a place at the Commonwealth Games and of course the World Netball Championships (WNC) in Singapore in 2011. We have to compete against Scotland next year to qualify for WNC so we are really keen to beat them on Friday and make our mark.”


Results

Day 3:

Match 1: Northern Ireland 66 – 41 Malaysia (HT 33-15)

Match 2: Canada 32–43 Tanzania (HT 15-22)

Match 3: Singapore 28–33 Scotland (HT 17-17)

 

Day 2:

Match 1: Scotland 52 - 39 Tanzania (HT 27-22)

Match 2: Canada 45 – 81 Northern Ireland (HT 23-41)

Match 3: Malaysia 33 – 39 Singapore (HT 18-19)

 

Day 1:

Singapore 30 – 45 Canada (HT 15-24)

Malaysia 29 – 48 Scotland (HT 24-38)

Northern Ireland 65 – 32Tanzania (HT 32-19)

 

World Rankings

Canada (21)

Malaysia (20)

Northern Ireland (19)

Scotland (13)

Singapore (15)

Tanzania (no ranking)

 

Fixtures            

 

Date

Game

Time

Fixtures

 

10

4pm

Tanzania

v

Malaysia

9-Dec

11

6pm

Singapore

v

Northern Ireland

Wed

12

8pm

Scotland

v

Canada

 

 

 

OFF DAY

10-Dec

 

 

Thu

 

 

 

13

4pm

Malaysia

v

Canada

11-Dec

14

6pm

Northern Ireland

v

Scotland

Fri

15

8pm

Tanzania

v

Singapore

 

16

11.30am

5th

v

6th

12-Dec

17

1.30pm

3rd

v

4th

Sat

18

4pm

1st

v

2nd

 

 

5.30pm

Prize Presentation

 

 

Ticketing Details

Day: $4
Finals: $8
Season: $20
Students+*: Enjoy 50% off all prices

 

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