England and New Zealand face very different paths on the way to 3/3
ALTHOUGH Group B’s top sides England and New Zealand both kept their undefeated runs in tact overnight, they faced very different challenges to do so.
ENGLAND 18 | 20 | 15 | 18 (71)
NORTHERN IRELAND 9 | 6 | 7 | 5 (27)
England did not face too much of a challenge to keep their undefeated run in tact, defeating Northern Ireland by 44 goals. The Roses raced ahead to a three-goal to none lead to begin the game, and that was a sign of what was to come for the next hour.
It was a pretty complete performance from the Roses. The Warriors never scored more than nine goals in a quarter as the goals in a row ratio between the teams was roughly 3:1 in favour of the host nation, sometimes getting up to as much as six unanswered goals by the Roses.
Despite the comprehensive win, the Roses only recorded two more deflections than the Warriors. However, the Roses recorded 12 more deflections than Northern Ireland, and Northern Ireland recorded significantly more contact penalties than the Roses.
For the Roses, the bulk of the goals came via Eleanor Cardwell, but Helen Housby was the most accurate shooter, not missing a shot all game. They were well fed by Imogen Allison (16 feeds, 14 assists), Sophie Drakeford-Lewis (14 assists, 17 feeds) and Laura Malcolm (21 feeds, 15 assists).
Despite the good number of feeds from Michelle Drayne and Caroline O’Hanlon (18 and 22 respectively), the Northern Irish shooters just could not put up the volume that their English counterparts could.
NEW ZEALAND 15 | 18 | 18 | 18 (69)
MALAWI 13 | 15 | 11 | 11 (50)
New Zealand also kept their undefeated run in tact overnight with a win over Malawi, but they certainly faced some tough competition from the Queens.
Despite getting the early break, New Zealand just could not break free of Malawi in the opening quarter. The Queens kept toe to toe with the Silver Ferns all quarter and although they could not find a way to conquer the height of Grace Nweke, they found a way around New Zealand’s tall defenders up the other end.
At the first break the margin sat at a mere two goals in New Zealand’s favour.
It remained tight and competitive in the second quarter too, with the lead fluctuating throughout the quarter. The margin was no more then three goals for much of the quarter, but the Silver Ferns extended it out slightly to five at the main break.
New Zealand really put their foot down in the opening stages of the third quarter and extended their lead out to as much as 11 goals. The Malawians were their own worst enemy at times, missing crucial shots amongst other errors.
Then they brought on Joyce Mvula and things started to turn around for them. However, that did not last long as New Zealand regained control at took a 12 goal lead into the final change.
That proved to be the decisive quarter as the Silver Ferns went on to win by 19. Nweke was a star under the ring all game, using her height and strength to her advantage to only miss three shots all games.
Although she did not shoot as many goals as Nweke, Te Paea Selby-Rickit also had a great game out at goal attack, providing a lot of feed into Nweke alongside the likes of skipper Gina Crampton.
Meanwhile for Malawi Takondwa Lwazi had another great game in centre and was a workhorse through midcourt.
Neither the Roses or Silver Ferns have to wait long to take the court again, as they are up again tonight taking on Uganda and Trinidad and Tobago respectively.