England booked a place in their first ever Netball World Cup final with a 46-40 victory over defending champions New Zealand in their semifinal clash at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Saturday while 11-time champions Australia held off a formidable fight from Jamaica to earn a 57-54 victory and a place in Sunday’s final.
Sunday’s lineup will see Malawi taking on Tonga at 9am in a battle for seventh place. Hosts South Africa then face African rivals Uganda once again in the fight for fifth spot at 11am. The bronze medal match will be contested between Jamaica and New Zealand at 4pm, before the 6pm final between England and Australia after which the Netball World Cup 2023 champions will be crowned.
Before Saturday’s semifinal action, Fiji secured 11th place at the tournament with victory over Trinidad and Tobago while in the final playoff match of the evening, it was Wales who beat Scotland 57-42 to secure ninth spot.
SCOTLAND 42 – 57 WALES
In their 11th meeting at a Netball World Cup, Wales got the better of Scotland with a 57-42 victory at the Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town to claim ninth position. The win means Wales have now won six of their encounters against Scotland.
The first quarter was a neck-and-neck battle, as both sides exchanged quick passes and strong feeds into their respective goal circles. While the Feathers’ shooting pair of Georgia Rowe and Phillipa Yarranton were successful with all of their attempts, Beth Goodwin and Niamh McCall missed six shots between the two of them for the Thistles. The Welsh also enjoyed the majority of possession in the opening minutes, handing them a 12-10 lead after the first 15 minutes.
As the game progressed into the second quarter, Wales continued to gain momentum, with clever interceptions and strategic transitions. Rowe and Yarranton continued where they left off, only missing one shot at goal while Goodwin and McCall again struggled to find the net letting four valuable goals go astray. The pressure put on them by defenders Ella Powell-Davies and Christina Shaw was clearly having an effect. At halftime, Wales had stretched their lead to four goals (25-21).
Wales took to the court at the start of the third quarter with the same seven players that started the match. For Scotland there were a handful of changes in an attempt to swing the match in their favour. It didn’t seem to have the desired effect though as Wales stretched their lead to a healthy 10-point gap (42-32).
The Feathers kept the intensity up in the final 15 minutes of the match, forcing the Thistles to play catchup. With the gap opening up to 11 points with seven minutes left on the clock, it proved to be an insurmountable task. Wales drove the ball down court to their goal circle with Rowe and Yarranton sinking shot after shot to secure the victory.
Wales wing attack Bethan Dyke was pleased with the win.
“We can now try and build on this and push through as we have aspirations to play against the top teams. That is what we want to do,” she said.
Scotland centre Iona Christian said it was a disappointing result on the day.
“We weren’t consistent enough today. But the fact that we are in the top 10 at a World Cup for the first time since 1991, in that sense it is great. We have a young, exciting team for the future,” she said.
Q2: 21-25 (11-13)
Q3: 32-42 (11-17)
Q4: 42-57 (10-15)
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Georgia Rowe (Wales)