Uganda defeated Malawi 54 – 52
South Africa defeated Northern Ireland 49 – 35
Scotland defeated Wales 51 – 47
Barbados defeated Fiji 65 – 44
Day 3’s “rivalry round” produced some of the closest results of the tournament to date.
Malawi v Uganda
The all-African clash between traditional rivals Malawi and Uganda was the match of the day. It was entertaining both off and on the court, with the crowd in full voice as players showcased their athleticism, while a number of heavy clashes occurred. Uganda started strongly, with Malawi trying to claw back the lead throughout the match. Unable to overcome the lower ranked nation, Malawi players left the court in tears. Full match report: She Cranes break Malawi hearts
South Africa v Northern Ireland
South Africa rested a number of their stars ahead of tomorrow’s big clash with Australia, and are still trying to bed down their new shooting combinations. Photographer Simon Leonard was in a perfect position to capture Caroline O’Hanlon, Erin Burger and Phumza Maweni as they tangled limbs. Full match report: South beats North
Three car pile-up. Photos: Simon Leonard
Scotland v Wales
There were momentum shifts in the game between Scotland and Wales, due to player tactics, coaching instructions, clever personnel switches and unpredictable events. Wales led early as Scotland showed signs of nerves, until Bethan Dyke began to dominate for the the Welsh team. She featured in every feed to Chelsea Lewis and started to pull her team ahead before she was taken from the court with a serious looking injury.
Scotland’s Fiona Fowler made smart adjustments to nullify her opposing goal attack, contributing to the decisive 15 – 9 margin for the quarter. Young Scottish shooter Bethan Goodwin gained confidence, dominating the front hold and shooting sweetly. Emotion fuelled the defensive intensity in the end, and Wales clawed back but fell short.
Hayley Mulheron, Scottish goal keeper, said after the game. “It certainly was an emotional game. Fiona (Fowler) and I had to change during the game so she would take her own player. You’ve got to adapt, and that’s what got us the win.”
“It’s not very nice to see injuries (to Bethan Dyke) – we all get them at some point. It’s obviously disappointing for Wales, and hopefully Bethan isn’t out for the rest of the tournament.
Fiji v Barbados
It was a fascinating match-up between Polynesian and Caribbean playing styles. While Fiji led 12 – 9 at the first break, Barbados were up 26 – 23 at half time. Momentum swung between quarters according to which team had the most discipline in executing the basics and found access to the shooters.
There was a beautiful contrast in shooting technique; Bajan flick of the wrist and low release versus delicate extended arm from Fiji. The Gems also tend to be more strongly built athletes who occupy space using power, whereas the Fijians use faster footwork around the body and float through almost silently for intercepts.
Influential again for Barbados were wing attack Damisha Croney, and off the bench, 21 year old goal shooter Shonica Wharton. A solemn moment occurred in the third quarter when Fijian keeper Episake Kahotaka demolished the petite Croney with very late contact, and Croney had to be stretchered off the court with neck protection. Kahotaka was later suspended for the rest of the game for unduly rough play.
Despite Fiji’s better accuracy the difference was that Barbados gained possession throughout the court while Fiji relied only on their defensive circle.
Wales’ dynamic wing attack Bethan Dyke had a collision with her Scottish opponent, and had to be helped from the court in tears. While medical assessment will occur, it appears that she’s injured her knee – potentially a dreaded ACL rupture, which would end her tournament.
Damisha Croney (Barbados) was stretchered from the court with neck precautions, after a late challenge by Fijian keeper Episake Kahotaka.
Betty Kizza (Uganda) had a heavy fall on her tailbone during the Uganda/Malawi match, and was helped from the court to loud applause from the crowd.
Fijian goal keeper Episake Kahotaka became the first netballer suspended from a match at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, for unduly rough conduct. It is understood that she will return to court in Fiji’s next game against Australia on Monday.
In yesterday’s match against Barbados, three of the Aussie shooters shot at 100% accuracy, an almost unheard of feat. Caitlin Thwaites (24), Steph Wood (17) and Susan Pettitt (15) shot immaculately, while Caitlin Bassett (23/26) almost made it a perfect record. Can the Aussies achieve it during the Games?
During the half time mark of the Uganda/Malawi game, the crowd got into the action, playing “air netball” with giant beach balls.
English umpire Gary Burgess, widely renowned as one of the world’s best umpires, was seen sporting a golden whistle.
What was Norma Plummer saying? Tell us what you think.
Fans are constantly in awe of the athleticism displayed by netballers. We bring you some of the best from Australia so far.
NETBALLERS AS OTHER ATHLETES