Hosts England opened their three-Test series against Uganda with a determined performance and a 60-51 victory in Nottingham.
England were playing for the first time since the Commonwealth Games and a poor second quarter meant they trailed by 28-25 at half-time.
England’s head coach then put her faith in a number of international debutants including Funmi Fadoju and Olivia Tchine to claw the match back. A purposeful second half in attack and defence eventually took the game away from the She Cranes.
“It feels amazing to get out there again on a home court in front of our home crowd,” Eleanor Cardwell, player of the match, said.
With a Netball World Cup on the horizon in Cape Town next year, Thirlby has selected a squad for this Uganda series that contains some of England’s most promising fresh talents. Shooter Cardwell was the only member of the starting seven who had faced the She Cranes at the Commonwealth Games in July.
Uganda arrived in England with just nine players available to them due to visa issues and as a result, head coach Fred Mugerwa had to move shooter Proscovia Peace back to goal keeper.
The final 15 minutes saw fatigue set in for Uganda while England stayed focused and clinical to strengthen their advantage and end the first of their three Tests on a high.