England’s young squad, made up from members of the Open and U21 squads, successfully retained the Netball Europe Open title at Kelvin Hall, Glasgow today (17 February 2008) with three wins out of three. In the final match of the tournament, England beat the only other undefeated side in the competition, Scotland 55-31 in front of a noisy partisan crowd.
Earlier in the tournament, the England squad, led by TeamBath centre courter Jo Binns, defeated Wales 57-23 and Northern Ireland 55-31, with impressive defensive performances from Jersey teenager Serena Guthrie and strong shooting from Jo Harten and Monique Wood.
Wales, ranked second in Europe and 13th in the world at the start of the competition, completed the tournament in last place, after a disappointing loss to world number 21 side Northern Ireland 43-42. The loss concluded an unhappy weekend, during which Wales also lost to Scotland.
England’s squad contained three members of the side which achieved fourth place at the Netball World Championships in New Zealand in November 2007- Binns and Sara Bayman of TeamBath and Jo Harten of Loughborough Lightning.
England’s U17 and U21 squads will be looking to retain their own European titles when they compete in the Netball Europe age group championships on 7-9 March 08 in Cardiff and Belfast respectively.
Picture shows Jo Binns in action for England.