Day 6 results
Northern Ireland def Barbados 49-39
Malawi def Scotland 51-50
South Africa def Fiji 92-28
Uganda def Wales 76-40
Northern Ireland defeated Barbados after coming from behind with a sizzling last quarter. The tough-as-nails Northern Irelander’s superior match fitness helped them run out an game that was only marred by an injury to Bhajan goal keeper Shonette Azore-Bruce. Match report here: Northern Ireland down Barbados
Scotland’s shooting accuracy kept them within striking distance of Malawi in a closely fought encounter. In the dying seconds of the match, goal attack Jane Chimaliro sensationally got sent from the court, while Scotland had several penalty shots after full time that would have enabled them to draw the game. While they couldn’t nail the goals, it was Scotland’s closest result against Malawi, who escaped with a very lucky win. It keeps their hopes alive of a possible semi-finals berth. (match report on Netball Scoop)
South Africa recorded one of their highest ever wins against Fiji, despite giving a number of their bench players substantial court time. Karla Mostert starred with 6 intercepts and 4 deflections. Crowd favourite, Fijian goal shooter Laisani Waqa has improved over the week with her timing, athleticism and AFL style grabs from behind. When Fijian goal defence Episake Kahatoka was injured in the first quarter, it made the Polynesian nation’s task more difficult. Both sides have had their Commonwealth Games campaign cruelled by injury. (Match report on Netball Scoop)
Uganda defeated Wales by 36 goals, a result that keeps their chances of making the medal rounds alive. Theoretically, if England can beat New Zealand tomorrow, and Uganda defeat Scotland by a big margin, Uganda could sneak into the semis. In this game, the Welsh defence over-committed to balls outside the circle, allowing Peace Proscovia free reign with a height mismatch over goal defence Nia Jones. The Welsh attackers didn’t pay enough respect to the athleticism and reach of the Ugandan defenders who came through for numerous intercepts. (Match report on Netball Scoop)
It has been confirmed that Precious Mthembu’s (RSA) knee injury is serious and has ended her participation in the Commonwealth Games. The extent of the injury has not yet been publicised.
Shonette Azore-Bruce, who already had a heavily strapped left thigh, received a nasty blow to the area as she contested for a high ball. Azore-Bruce left the venue in a wheelchair, and will be assessed by a medical team.
Fiji’s tallest defender, Episake Kahatoka left the court in the first quarter with what appeared to be a knee injury. There are no further updates at this point.
NORTHERN IRELAND IS ALL HEART
Northern Ireland have earned Netball Scoop’s admiration this week. Read what coach Elaine Rice has to say about her team here.
Netball Scoop’s very own writer, Drew Kennedy, was picked up on Kiss Cam while sitting in the audience tonight. Drew was having a break from his reporting duties, and catching up with some old mates.
THE COIN TOSS
The GC2018 netball presentation team has made some lucky people very happy this week. Before each game, a member of the crowd is plucked out, sometimes by sheer luck or sometimes because they’ve publicly humiliated themselves by singing, lip-syncing or dancing on the big screen.
Those people have gone on to toss the coin with team captains before the game, and go on to deliver the ball for the first centre pass. Our photographers, Marcela Massey and Simon Leonard, have captured some of the priceless reactions of those special moments. See the full album on Facebook. The coin toss and ball deliverers.
BEHIND THE SCENES
AnneMarie White: Venue Press Manager
There are an army of people behind the scenes making sure that the netball competition runs with silken smoothness. From the area managers to the technical officials, security personnel and volunteers, it’s a massive but well co-ordinated undertaking.
AnneMarie White is the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre Venue Press Manager, who enables the press to get the best stories and pictures of netball out into the public forum. She’s the perfect person for the job, having worked at most Commonwealth Games, a couple of World Championships, and with the Queensland Firebirds and the Australian Diamonds. She said, “I’ve been involved with netball since I was a little girl, played at different levels, and this is a way of continuing my involvement. I love it; I think I’m just netball through and through.”
She coordinates volunteers who work in press operations, and together they form a very special team. AnneMarie explained, “We aim to please, and if we have, that’s the privilege of working in this organisation.”
“My volunteers call it a pleasure, rather than a job, but together our role is to ensure journalists have good information, updated information, a good viewing area, and the ability to explain the game to those people who are thrust into covering netball but don’t know much about it. We do the same for the photographers.”
Excitement is building about the week ahead, particularly the move to the final’s venue at Coomera. AnneMarie said, “It’s a bigger venue, but the environment is the same. We have to learn the new routes to the mixed zones*, but we’ve already done that so it should be pretty seamless.”
“I’ve been employed by GOLDOC for four months, so you have all these plannings in place, but until that first whistle goes you don’t know if it’s going to be a success. I think it has – I haven’t stopped smiling since the tournament started.”
This will be AnneMarie’s last Commonwealth Games; her role one she’ll miss at a personal as well as professional level. “The world of netball is like a big family. Standing in the mixed zone when a coach comes out, gives you a smile and a high five before going about their business, that’s what the family of netball is about.”
And AnneMarie’s tip for the finals? “I think Australia is probably dominant but then the next five positions are fairly randomised. Any one of these teams, as we saw with Malawi beating New Zealand, can bring out a whizz, bang effort in a game that matters. So I don’t think anyone can predict the top six teams and their placings. That’s the excitement of this Commonwealth Games.”
NETBALLERS AS OTHER ATHLETES
THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT
We all know netball selectors are obsessed with height! But sometimes good things come in small(er) packages. Check out the height difference between some of these opponents.