Roses claim She Cranes series with eight-goal win
ENGLAND has ensured it will take out the three-game series against Uganda, following its eight-goal victory over the She Cranes at The Copper Box last night. After winning game one last week, the Roses proved too strong once again, getting up 53-45 off the back of an impressive 19-10 third term in game two overnight. The third and final match will take place later today before the Roses head Down Under to face Australia.
ENGLAND 13 | 11 | 19 | 10 (53)
UGANDA 9 | 14 | 10 | 12 (45)
Both teams largely went in the same as game one, with the She Cranes unchanged, while the Roses handed the experienced Chelsea Pitman a start over Hannah Joseph. Co-captains Laura Malcolm (centre) And Imogen Allison (wing defence) also swapped bibs for game two. After not missing a shot and winning Player of the Match in game one, Roses shooter Eleanor Cardwell surprisingly missed a couple of chances, though the dominance of Pitman in wing attack was clear.
The She Cranes did manage to draw level during the second term and found themselves trailing by just one goal at the main break off the back of some reliable shooting from Mary Cholhok. The Roses had rotated in youngster Funmi Fadoju to join Fran Williams in defence, while Olivia Tchine came into goal shooter alongside Cardwell. Both Fadoju and Tchine were showing their future potential at respective ends on their Pulse home court.
At half-time the She Cranes – who only had the nine players to deal with – kept as per usual – while Zara Everitt and Joseph both came on at the wing roles. Sophie Drakeford-Lewis also returned to the court to give Cardwell her first break of the series. The Roses got back on top in the third term, piling on 19 goals to 10 despite playing one of their more inexperienced lineups. The youthful setup and pressure that they brought was clear, with England boasting a 10-goal lead into the final term.
The last of the players yet to get court time in Ellie Rattu was able to come on in centre and coach Jess Thirlby was able to test all her youngsters with the game on the line as England claimed the 53-45 victory. Uganda had its moments, with a real even team performance, headlined by the likes of Peace Proscovia and Cholhok, while Joan Nampungu worked hard in defence, and Margret Baagala was tireless in centre. Williams earned Player of the Match honours for game two.
“Uganda are such a talented side and I think we’re forgetting the task that we put to this team,” Thrilby said to Sky Sports.
“It’s a home series, a young team with five debutants and to have gained a series win on home soil, I couldn’t be prouder of the effort and commitment they’ve shown this week and we’ve got another opportunity.
“To know that we’ve won the series, we should just pause and acknowledge what they’ve done.”