Roses top Pool, as Uganda and Northern Ireland nab wins

ENGLAND topped Pool B at the 2022 Commonwealth Games thanks to a 10-goal victory over New Zealand, while Uganda moved into third spot, and Northern Ireland grabbed its first win of the tournament.

NEW ZEALAND 8 | 16 | 9 | 11 (44)
ENGLAND 15 | 10 | 14 | 15 (54)

In the battle for top two and undefeated status, it was England who prevailed and finished top of the group, while also keeping their undefeated record intact. In a sign of the kind of battle that was played out on court, New Zealand’s scoring was restricted like never before seen at these Commonwealth Games, but so was England’s to a lesser degree.

The margin was a pretty big won in the end when one takes into account the fact that England held possession for 59 seconds longer than New Zealand did across the game. The Silver Ferns also recorded more intercepts than England (five to two) and more deflections (12 to seven).

For the Roses, Jade Clarke and Laura Malcolm certainly made sure that Eleanor Cardwell and Helen Housby were well fed in the ring, with the latter pair both putting up plenty of shots. Meanwhile for New Zealand, Te Paea Selby-Rickit did not miss a shot all night, but neither she nor the other New Zealand shooters could match the volume they had delivered in previous games.

Uganda toppled Malawi by 13 goals in an impressive performance | Image credit: Getty Images

MALAWI  11 | 13 | 9 | 10 (43)
UGANDA             14 | 14 | 13 | 15 (56)

In the battle of Group B’s African sides, it was Uganda who finished their group stage on a high, defeating their continental neighbours Malawi by 13 goals. Although things were fairly tight in the opening half, a drop off on the scoreboard from Malawi in the second half ultimately cost them the win.

Uganda had the ball for about 11 more minutes than Malawi did across the game, and they recorded double the number of interceptions Malawi did. However, Malawi won the deflection count by a single deflection.

Both teams had quite high penalty counts, which is something they will no doubt want to look at. The contact count for both sides was particularly high, with Malawi recording a whopping 63 to Uganda’s 43.

For the She Cranes, Mary Cholhok and Irene Eyaru both had great games under the ring, while Stella Oyella had another great game in midcourt. Meanwhile for Malawi, the bulk of their goals came from Mwai Kumwenda, who only missed one shot for the game, while Takondwa Lwazi had another stellar game in centre.

Northern Ireland picked up its first win of the Commonwealth Games with victory over Trinidad & Tobago | Image credit: BBC

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 5 | 10 | 7 | 10 (32)
NORTHERN IRELAND 14 | 10 | 8 | 9 (41)

In the battle of the winless sides of Group B, it was Northern Ireland who ultimately ended their group stage on a high with a win over Trinidad & Tobago. It was all the first quarter that did it for the Warriors. A nine goal lead at quarter was what remained at full time as Trinidad and Tobago drew level for the quarter in the second, and both sides scored 17 goals each in the second half.

The Warriors lead in plenty of the stats too. They recorded significantly more interceptions (14 to four) and deflections (19 to 11), but also did record more contacts and obstructions.

For the Northern Irish, their main source of goals was Ciara Crosbie, but all of Northern Ireland’s shooters were inaccurate, with no one shooting above 80 per cent. Caroline O’Hanlon had another great game in the midcourt, providing a lot of feeds and assists, as well as a number of handy intercepts. Meanwhile for Trinidad & Tobago, Afeisha Noel had another accurate game in front of goal, while Faith Hagley had a great game in midcourt.

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