Birmingham Scoop – Day 2

Birmingham Scoop – Day 2

Saturday 30th July



Australia 83 def Scotland 30
England 66 def Malawi 41
Jamaica 68 def South Africa 49
New Zealand 53 def Uganda 40



While still battling a niggling leg injury, Paige Hadley played seven minutes each of the first two quarters. She said after the match, “It was awesome to be out there with the girls. I’m going really well. They (staff) are currently holding me back because it’s a long two weeks, and trying to manage my load towards the back end of the week.

“It was definitely precise, and I was trying to push the boundaries a little bit, but sticking to the plan so I can keep pressing and hopefully play 60 minutes soon.”

South African captain Bongiwe Msomi had a heavy fall and was temporarily substituted out of the game. She later said, “Now that we are done I can actually feel the pain in my hip but we have to treat that and I should be fine to go tomorrow.”

After a mighty effort against the Jamaican shooters, Phumza Maweni (South Africa) left the court in the fourth quarter with cramping. 



Congratulations to Shadine van der Merwe and Khanyisa Chawane who both notched up their 50th test appearance for South Africa.

Te Paea Selby-Rickit also celebrated her 50th appearance for New Zealand.


Shadine van der Merwe played her 50th test match for South Africa tonight. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography


Khanyisa Chawane (left) played her 50th test match for South Africa tonight. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography



For a nation that’s been traditionally reserved at netball matches, the English crowd have found their voice. In full cry during the Roses dominant performance, they will be a powerful supporting act come finals. 

And speaking of crowds, Uganda’s support crew were also vocal during their team’s spirited outing against New Zealand.

Hamilton’s bid for the 2030 Commonwealth Games has had strong backing from the Commonwealth Games Federation. Included in the bid is Hamilton’s intention to share the hosting rights with other countries which, if successful, will see Jamaica stage the netball portion of the competition. 

For years, netball has endured someone on their hands and knees, mopping up any sweat, blood and tears on the court. In the Australian league, Sabco got on board as sponsors this season, and didn’t fans love it, with a rousing welcome every time the mop made an appearance. No such luck at the Commonwealth Games this year – the towel is still very much part of the team!

Teams have been put on notice: if they need to swap out an athlete during injury time, they must do it efficiently. In a couple of games over the last two days, teams have been disadvantaged by taking longer than the requisite 30 seconds to complete the player exchange. If they do take too long, the player who is coming on must wait for a goal to be scored, while their team plays with six athletes. 

Having left their dresses at home after delays by providers, Malawi were rescued by NetballUK in the nick of time for their first outing on Saturday. Managing Director of Netball UK and Manchester Thunder, Debbie Hallas, delivered the dresses in person, after a less than 24 hour turnaround.

Rob Wright has been spotted on social media letting his hair down – so to speak – with the Jamaican team. He said, “My dance moves are shocking, but I work with the defence end and they are wonderful. It’s pretty cool and we just keep trying to build, and I’m pretty pleased with how they are tracking.”



Nat Metcalf (England) found circle edge to notch 30 goal assists against Malawi.

Sunday Aryang (Australia) dominated with 7 gains in her appearance against Scotland.

Shooting performances have been impressive by many teams. In today’s matches, Jamaica (96%) and Australia (94%) were particularly dominant. 

The defensive pressure of some teams has produced astounding numbers in the ‘Gains’ column of the stat sheets. So far, Australia top the ladder for the stat, collecting  34 on Day 1 against Barbados, and 26 on Day 2 against Scotland.

In trying to keep the ball in play, it ended up in just the wrong place. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography


And sometimes the photographer is perfectly placed to capture it. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography



Emily Nicholl (Scotland) had an impressive game against three Australian goal attacks. Dubbed a ‘bulldog’ by Aussie commentary, Nicholl hunted the ball and showed dogged tenacity by matching the Australians for footspeed for the entire match. 

Stacey Francis-Bayman had a blinding first quarter against Malawi – taking 3 intercepts in 15 minutes. Playing in front of her home Brummy crowd during her retirement series, Francis-Bayman is staying ‘in the moment’ and loving it. 

With Jamaica’s midcourt often under scrutiny, Nicole Dixon-Rochester had a brilliant outing at centre for the Sunshine Girls. Linking smoothly between attack and defence, she finished with 31 feeds and 4 gains. Assistant coach Rob Wright said, “We want to make sure we get the ball to our shooters, and Nicole showed some real composure in the first three quarters.”

While undersized compared to their opponents, Uganda’s defensive end of Joan Nampungu (GD) and Shaffie Nalwanja (GK) troubled New Zealand’s shooters at times with their aerial ability, and picked off four gains. Combining perfectly for a lift, they also deflected and gained against an attempted shot on goal.  



The Ugandan defensive end were at a height disadvantage compared to New Zealand. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography




Australia 83 def Scotland 30 (17-10, 18-6, 23-9, 25-5)

It was an impressive start from Team Scotland, who came out firing for their first match of the tournament. In contrast, Australia changed their starting line from Day 1, and were slower to get out of the blocks today. 

Gretel Bueta frequently led out of the circle, making space for herself or Kiera Austin to drive into, but the pairing lacked the cohesion of other shooting combinations, and the midcourt were challenged at times against the defence over the line from Scotland.

Paige Hadley played her first minutes of the tournament, clocking half of the first two quarters before retiring permanently from the game, as she returns from injury. 

Australia’s defensive end showed just how dangerous they can be, with Sunday Aryang picking off seven gains at goal defence, while Courtney Bruce menaced the shooters for six gains in her 30 minutes on court. Collectively, the four circle defenders showed good foot movement and great discipline to only give away 19 penalties between them.

Thistles coach Tamsin Greenway made a number of changes across each quarter, and while they took a while to settle at times, the inexperienced group will be better for the outing. Wing attack Iona Christian was a stand out, putting balls confidently over Ash Brazill, controlling the attacking end, and using both hands to feed the circle. 

Shooter Beth Goodwin held some strong front space despite the challenges presented by Sarah Klau and later Courtney Bruce. 

In defence, the Thistles circle defenders came up with five gains, although Scotland were guilty of throwing far too much ball away in attack, with 20 turnovers.

Of her team’s performance, Scottish coach Tamsin Greenway said, “I’m really pleased – it was about performance and process. We asked questions at times, and I think Australia had to step up, and that is a great challenge for us. Everyone who went out there had to learn on the job and learn very quickly.”

“We’ve got a lot of inexperience in this team…I thought they were fearless…that’s all I can ask right now.”

This is a group who’ve embraced what I’ve asked of them, who’ve taken on that challenge, have gone, ‘I’m going to play direct netball, let’s see what that looks like’.

KOENEN 36/37 (97%)
BUETA 33/34 (97%)
AUSTIN 10/13 (77%)
WOOD 4/4 (100%)
TOTAL 83/88 (94%)

GOODWIN 15/16 (94%)
BARRIE 7/8 (88%)
McCALL 6/10 (60%)
LOVE 2/4 (50%)
TOTAL 30/38 (79%)


Em Nicholl sharing a moment with Gretel Bueta after Australia's defeat of Scotland at the 2022 Commonwealth Games

Despite her side’s loss, Emily Nicholl relished the opportunity to play against some of the world’s best – even having a post-match ‘fan’ moment with Gretel Bueta.



England 66 def Malawi 41 (19-9, 16-11, 13-13, 18-8)

England started the first quarter looking settled and relaxed, with their through court attack looking strong. Natalie Metcalf and Eleanor Cardwell’s continuing connection meant that England made a strong entrance to the game. Defensively England caused problems for the Malawi attack, the tight one on one defensive setup in the circle, meant that Malawi struggled at times throughout the start of the game to feed their shooters. 

Due to the obvious English defensive presence in Malawi’s goal third, their centre court was caught up in play and struggled to move towards goal fluidly. In addition to this, the height of the English defence made feeding the Malawi shooters difficult. Malawi pushed through and remained patient as the game progressed, making things difficult for England during the third quarter. 

Both teams ran goal for goal during this period, the strong and consistent Joyce Mvula coming through for her team shooting from range confidently. 

In the final quarter, Eleanor Cardwell and Helen Housby’s partnership went from strength to strength getting England back on track and finishing the game confidently.

CARDWELL 31/33 (94%)
HARTEN 21/25 (84%)
HOUSBY 14/18 (78%)
TOTAL 66/76 (87%)

MVULA 19/22 (86%)
KUMWENDA 18/21 (86%)
CHIMALIRO 4/5 (80%)
TOTAL 41/48 (85%)


Jamaica 68 def South Africa 49 (18-7, 19-12, 17-12, 14-18)

If Jamaica looked slightly out of sorts yesterday, their connections were on fire against South Africa at the start of the match. Shanice Beckford and Jhaniele Fowler showed their understanding of each other’s play and barely looked like missing, the midcourt moved the ball accurately and with speed, while the defenders terrorised their opponents. 

South Africa were forced into several changes early on, including moving Izette Griesel to wing attack after Bongiwe Msomi had a heavy fall. The Proteas steadied across the second quarter, putting up five more goals than in their shell-shocked opening term. Defensive efforts lifted across the court, but Beckford acted as a strong counterfoil for Fowler when she was double teamed.

A happy assistant coach, Rob Wright, high fived his team as they left the court at half time, and later said, “It was good to put a real stamp on the game…We were disciplined with the ball, we were disciplined in defence, and kept them under control.” 

Elmere van der Berg looked comfortable in her first Commonwealth Games outing, with her height and accuracy a feature. Van der Berg finished with 13/15 (87%), 4 rebounds, 10 centre pass receives and a pick up. Her captain Msomi later said, “Elmere is really such a great talent and I was glad that when we took the court I could be next to her – we have such a great connection. So I just told her to do what she does best, be calm, do what she does best, and just forget about the names, and I think she did that really well.”

While facing a significant deficit, South Africa improved as the match went on, and won the last quarter. 

FOWLER 33/33 (100%)
BECKFORD 15/18 (83%)
NELSON 14/14 (100%)
ROBINSON 6/6 (100%)
TOTAL 68/71 (96%)

VENTER 30/36 (83%)
van der BERG 13/15 (87%)
RADEMAN 6/8 (75%)
TOTAL 49/59 (83%)


Shanice Beckford was composed against the South African defence. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography


Jamaica’s Jodi-Ann Ward has eyes for the ball. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography


Latanya Wilson pulling in one of her five gains for Jamaica. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography


Khadijah Williams celebrates a Jamaican win. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography


New Zealand 53 def Uganda 40 (14-11, 17-7, 8-11, 14-11)

In a low scoring game, Uganda pushed New Zealand all the way to the final whistle. Their short passing, possession style game was incredibly difficult for the Silver Ferns to win clean ball against, with the Ugandans not fazed at all by the defensive zone applied against them. With just eight gains for the match – four of which were taken by Kelly Jury, New Zealand will look to win more ball against their opponents. 

In attack, captain Gina Crampton worked hard, coming up with 26 feeds and 15 centre pass receives, while Whitney Souness used her speed to hit the top of the circle well. 

Initially providing limited defence across the transverse line, Uganda gained in confidence across the match. In the third quarter, to the crowd chant of U-Gan-Da and the sound of drums and maracas, Mary Cholhok entered the game. Her height and accuracy troubled the defenders, while a lay up brought the house down. 

Uganda shot out to a 6-1 lead for the quarter, and gained in confidence as they competed against the world number 2. Goal attack Irene Eyaru also had a strong game for the She-Cranes, combining well with both of her shooters.    

Having originally debuted as a wing attack, Bailey Mes made a return to the position in the fourth quarter. Mes’ height and athleticism could be a critical change up for New Zealand later in the tournament, when Crampton needs resting. 

While New Zealand never looked like losing the game, with Uganda winning the 3rd quarter 11-8, the margin narrowing to seven at one point, and percentage at stake, there is clearly some work still to do for the Ferns. 

After the game, coach Dame Noeline Taurua said of the game, “I thought it was fantastic – we were under the pump, under huge pressure right from the start through to the end. For us, it’s really good, specially for some of the younger, more inexperienced players feeling that.

“We can talk about it, but the unorthodox really shows, and I’m really happy that we could grind it through when required.

“Their ability to pull us apart and go wide, but also do the real simple things, obviously the flare and speed on top of it. Really hard, but it’s not unless you’re out there you get the timing.”

NWEKE 32/37 (86%)
WILSON 14/15 (93%)
SELBY-RICKIT 7/8 (88%)
TOTAL 53/60 (88%)

CHOLHOK 19/22 (86%)
EYARU 16/21 (76%)
PEACE 5/8 (63%)
TOTAL 40/51 (78%)


Proscovia Peace had an unusally off target 30 minutes, finishing with just 5/8 at 63%. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography


In an impressive effort, the Ugandan defenders pulled in four gains. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography


New Zealand assistant coach Deb Fuller talks to Kayla Johnson on the bench. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography


The Ugandan team had plenty to talk about after pushing New Zealand hard during their match. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography



Sunday 1 August 

(UK Times)

12pm – Malawi v Northern Ireland
2pm – South Africa v Barbados 

6pm – Uganda v Trinidad & Tobago
8pm – Scotland v Wales 


To keep up to date with all the scores, stats, points tables, and schedule for upcoming matches, check out our Draw & Results page


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