Birmingham Scoop – Day 3

Birmingham Scoop – Day 3

Sunday 31st July


Make sure you tune into Day 2 of our Vlog – for plenty of player and coach interviews, including Paige Hadley on her injury, Eleanor Cardwell, Tamsin Greenway, and Mary Cholhok.



Malawi 54 def Northern Ireland 41
South Africa 91 def Barbados 36
Uganda 62 def Trinidad & Tobago 28
Wales 48 def Scotland 42



There was an uproar on social media yesterday, when the BBC didn’t televise two live matches, between New Zealand and Uganda, and the crucial clash between Jamaica and South Africa. Believing that all netball matches across the Games would be shown it came as a rude shock to local fans when they couldn’t find them on television, or get an answer as to why they weren’t available. 

While all sports deserve coverage, the communication issues were particularly taxing. Along with fans not being able to watch the games, it limited the ability of teams to scout each other from the comfort of their hotel, and umpires to assess their own performances.

However, never underestimate the power of social media. With athletes, coaches and fans all taking to the airwaves, the BBC will hopefully provide some answers.  

Once again, Malawi didn’t make their injury time out changes quickly enough, and were penalised by leaving a player off court until the next centre pass. While they’ve had uniform challenges and may not have a set of bibs to spare, the changes need to be slicker and could prove to be costly. Trinidad & Tobago also had bib issues, with two players sporting one GD and GK bib each for a while. 

The Commonwealth Games are known as the ‘Friendly Games’ for many reasons, and the support between athletes is incredible. In today’s match, Shonette Azore-Bruce received a ball to the face. In some distress, she was helped by opposition captain Bongiwe Msomi, who was on the sidelines in a tracksuit, and herself sitting out through injury. 

It was a rest day for the four top ranked nations, with Australia, England, New Zealand and Jamaica all having 24 hours off before facing their next opponent. With some athletes already carrying injuries – Paige Hadley and Jo Harten in particular – the break will give them extra time to prepare for their next test. 

Netball Scoop likes to celebrate player and umpire milestones, and sadly, with no 2022 media guide available for the Commonwealth Games, are having to rely on having our ears to the ground to pick up these important occasions. So apologies if we miss some – please let us know!


It’s been dubbed the ‘Friendly Games’ and in moments like this, you can see why.



Michelle Magee (Ireland) took a hard knock to the head and was seen icing it during the break. She played on, however will likely be on concussion watch. Coach Elaine Rice said, “She will not lie down, our girls don’t lie down. But she will be well looked after.”

South Africa’s Shadine van der Merwe has an injury niggle, while Bongiwe Msomi is feeling the impact of her heavy fall yesterday, and so were rested, according to head coach Dorette Badenhorst.

Shonette Azore-Bruce (Barbados) took a hit to the face and had to sub off after time was called. At the end of the game she left wearing an eye patch.



Congratulations to Bethan Dyke, who took the court for her 50th test cap today. 


Scotland had high hopes for the games against Wales, but a slow start was costly. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography



Khanyisa Chawane (South Africa) – 41 feeds, 33 assists
Nicola Smith (South Africa) – 8 possession gains and 5 pickups
Phumza Maweni (South Africa) – 8 pickups
Towera Vinkhumbo (Malawi) – 6 pickups, 4 intercepts
Joan Nampungu (Uganda) – 7 gains and 6 pickups
Shaquanda Greene-Noel (Trinidad & Tobago) – 9 possession gains in a losing side. 
Kristina Shaw (Wales) – 8 possession gains



Elmere Van der Berg continued her promising debut, in a strong game for South Africa. Mixing up movement and holding position in the circle, she converted 47/49 (96%) in her 45 minute appearance, while also pulling in four rebounds. 

Georgia Rowe was a tower of strength under the post for Wales, shooting 36/38, at 100% accuracy.

It was also a day for defence, with Northern Ireland’s Fi Toner (6 gains) and Niamh Cooper (3 gains at WD and C), South Africa’s Phumza Maweni (8 pickups), and Malawi’s Martha Dambo (6 gains) and Towera Vinkhumbo (7 gains) all in good form for their teams. 


Georgia Rowe (Wales) had an accurate match at shooter. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography




Malawi 54 defeated Northern Ireland 41  (12-11, 13-10, 17-7, 12-13)

The match started physically with the Northern Ireland goalers struggling to adjust to the extra attention from Towera Vinkhumbo and Caroline Mtukule. The defence expertly restricted the goaler’s movements and forced numerous attempts which created opportunities for Malawi in gains. However by the end of the first term, Emma Magee and Ciara Crosbie fell into a rhythm and were not so easily rattled, nor drawn into the physicality. 

Takondwa Lawzi had an enthralling mid court battle with Northern Ireland captain, Caroline O’Hanlon. In the early stages of the match, Lawazi restricted O’Hanlon’s access to the circle edge and even picked off a stunning pocket intercept. 

Northern Ireland’s experienced defender, Fi Toner, matched up well against Mwai Kumwenda – who also stars for the Melbourne Vixens, taking rebounds despite their height differential. Toner also proved pivotal in transition play and led her side in intercepts, collecting 5 for the match. 

Shooting accuracy was a concern for Northern Ireland – despite being a vast improvement on their first match. During the third term, it dropped to as low as 70% which Malawi exploited by snaffling rebounds and converting at the other end. Unsurprisingly, this was the quarter where Malawi seized control of the game. 

Two vastly different styles of play were on show in this match. Malawi were dynamic and aerial and Northern Ireland were patient and kept the ball low. Malawi were courageous in letting the ball go from virtually anywhere, with several balls launched from the mid third to the goal circle. 

In contrast, Northern Ireland’s patience was, at times, to their detriment, particularly in the circle where they lost the ball through playing it around too much. Other times, it worked in their favour when trying to work the ball across the transverse through smothering Malawi defence. 

Both teams will take a lot of confidence from this match into their much tougher opposition on Day 4 games. 

KUMWENDA 29/32 (91%)
MVULA 15/19 (79%)
SIMTOWE 6/6 (100%)
CHIMALIRO 4/4 (100%)
TOTAL 54/61 (89%)

MAGEE 22/27 (81%)
CROSBIE 18/22 (82%)
BOWMAN 1/3 (33%)
TOTAL 41/52 (79%)


South Africa 91 defeated Barbados 36  (23-9, 20-9, 23-9, 25-9)

South Africa got their first points of the tournament in Birmingham with a commanding 55-goal win over Barbados. After yesterday’s tough encounter with Jamaica, the South Africans chose to rest captain Bongi Msomi and Shadine van der Merwe in today’s game. The remaining ten players easily accounted for their opposition. 

Barbados could only score nine goals in each quarter, as they struggled against a relentless Proteas’ defence which came up with 23 possession gains, including 13 intercepts. Nicola Smith stood out with eight gains of her own in just three quarters, while Phumza Maweni cleaned up loose ball time and again, finishing with eight pickups. 

The absence of Msomi and van der Merwe was barely noticed as South Africa brought the ball down court with relative ease. The midcourt duo of Khanyisa Chawane and Izette Griesel combined for an astonishing 60 goal assists, while Elmere van der Berg shone at goal shooter, scoring at better than a goal a minute. All four shooters were given court time and a reflection of South Africa’s dominance was that they were able to put up 101 attempts in 60 minutes. 

By comparison, Barbados had just 45 attempts. The Bajan players found it difficult to find space, and were often stagnant when in possession. Under pressure, their passes were regularly snapped up by an eager South African defence. When the ball did find its way to Latonia Blackman and Shonica Wharton, they were able to shoot at a respectable 80%. But they didn’t have as many opportunities as they should have.  

South Africa will now prepare for their big clash with Australia tomorrow, while things don’t get any easier for Barbados, up against the might of their Caribbean rivals, Jamaica.

van der BERG 47/49 (96%)
TALJAARD 18/20 (90%)
VENTER 14/16 (88%)
RADEMAN 12/16 (75%)
TOTAL 91/101 (90%)

BLACKMAN 21/24 (88%)
WHARTON 15/21 (71%)
TOTAL 36/45 (80%)


Uganda 62 def Trinidad & Tobago 28 (13-6, 20-7, 14-9, 15-6)

Trinidad & Tobago took to the court with steely intent against their more favoured rivals, Uganda. In a low scoring match, both teams initially ran goal for goal, before Uganda started to pull away. Trinidad & Tobago made numerous changes but to little avail, as Uganda pounced on any loosely placed passes.

One of Uganda’s more experienced midcourters, Stella Oyella, found good position on the edge of the circle, from which point passes to Mary Cholhok rarely went astray. Cholhok’s height in the circle was a challenge for Shaquanda Greene, but the feisty goal keeper got up to any misplaced high balls. She and goal defence Aniecia Baptiste pulled out the most spectacular lift of the tournament at one point, to intercept the ball. 

Trinidad & Tobago struggled in attack, with the ball being turned over on numerous occasions through passing errors, and the pressure applied by Uganda’s wing defence Sandra Nambirige and goal defence Joan Nampungu. 

Hesitation around the circle on the feed was also costly, but goal shooter Afiehsha Noel kept the crowd on their toes with a strong display of long range shooting. 

The byplay between Greene and umpire Tara Warner was entertaining, with Greene eloquently pleading her case at times, and having a very long chat to the umpires at half time. 

Trinidad & Tobago continued to ring the changes, with Baptiste showing her versatility moving to centre, while Uganda also swapped out their shooting circle. While it wasn’t Trinidad & Tobago’s night, they showed growth across the game. 

CHOLHOK 28/32 (88%)
NASSANGA 25/25 (100%)
EYARU 9/11 (82%)
TOTAL 62/68 (91%)

NOEL 20/23 (87%)
COOPER 8/13 (62%)
TOTAL 28/36 (78%)


Uganda bench. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography


Wales 48 def Scotland 42 (12-7, 14-8, 15-13, 7-14)

A physically ferocious contest between world number 8 and 9, Scotland and Wales, was the match of the day. After Wales failed to qualify for the 2019 Netball World Cup, they had a point to prove at this tournament. There were quality match-ups all over the court, with two of the best being the wing attack/wing defence battle between Bethan Dyke/Claire Maxwell, and Iona Christian/Nia Jones. 

Regularly used as a back door option at centre pass, Jones attacked hard down court, and also got her hand to plenty of ball in defence. Jones took an equal game high 19 centre passes, allowing Dyke to set up further down court, and hit the circle edge with speed. 

It was a significant advantage for Wales having two tall and accurate shooters in Betsy Creak and the dominant Georgia Rowe, who finished with 89% accuracy. In contrast, early misses by Scotland shooting at 54% accuracy in the early stages of the match, gifted turnovers to Wales. 

Trailing by 11 goals at half time, Scotland found it a challenge to make inroads against Wales, who were secure with the ball. Their ball movement through court was timed with precision, with multiple options in attack.

A spirited comeback by the Thistles in the final quarter narrowed the score difference to six, but some critical errors and shooting rate of 68% accuracy will haunt them across the tournament, unless they can lift. Wales face South Africa tomorrow, and pushed them hard in match play just before the Commonwealth Games. 

GOODWIN 20/27 (74%)
BARRIE 15/22 (68%)
McCALL 7/13 (54%)
TOTAL 42/62 (68%)

ROWE 36/38 (95%)
CREAK 12/16 (75%)
TOTAL 48/54 (89%)


Mine! Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography


Beth Goodwin had a tough day under the post. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography


Christina Shaw gets some elevation over the shot. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography


The Wales bench had plenty to cheer about during the game. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography



Monday 1 August 2022

UK Times 

12pm – Australia v South Africa
2pm – Jamaica v Barbados

6pm – England v Northern Ireland
8pm – New Zealand v Malawi


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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