Thistles second term fends off Warriors

SCOTLAND Thistles have survived an almighty scare from British counterparts Northern Ireland, winning in a low-scoring, tight contest to earn ninth spot at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. In a neck-and-neck contest, the teams were all square early ,with the Thistles’ second term – which applied some scoreboard pressure and distance tot he Warriors – being the catalyst in the end for a 43-33 triumph last night. Both sides exited the group stage with just the one win – over Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago respectively – and the result allowed Scotland to finish on a high.

SCOTLAND 10 | 12 | 10 | 11 (43)
NORTHERN IRELAND 10 | 6 | 9 | 8 (33)

Scotland was able to come away with an important double-digit win over Northern Ireland, but only just after it looked like the sides might be trading blows defensively throughout the match Just the 20 goals were scored in the first term – 10 apiece – as the smaller netballing nation in Northern Ireland was up for the fight. That 20-goal quarter was a sign of what was to come, with just 18 in the next term, but luckily for the Thistles, it was 12-6 in their favour, and it allowed them to hold a 22-16 advantage at the main break.

Though Scotland has been known to change it up throughout the Games, the Thistles kept the same lineup right until the final six minutes of the match. By then the game was effectively put to rest, with Scotland having extended the lead to seven by the final break and the Warriors could not close within six goals of the Thistles. Kelly Boyle came on for Hannah Leighton in centre as the only substitution for the match, while Northern Ireland played 10 competitors throughout the game, with four of them spending the entire 60 minutes on court.

The Scottish shooting combination of Bethan Goodwin (23 goals from 27 attempts and four goal assists) and Niamh McCall (20 goals from 26 attempts and 11 goal assists) worked strongly, as Iona Christian helped herself to 13 goal assists in the process, as well as an intercept and a gain. In defence, Rachel Conway (three gains, three deflections, one intercept and one rebound) was rock solid with Emily Nicholl (four gains, two intercepts, five deflections and one rebound) while Claire Maxwell (three gains, one intercept and one deflection) linked up well at wing defence.

Northern Ireland’s defence was lead by Fionnuala Toner (10 gains, four intercepts, two deflections and two rebounds) in a superb role rotating between goal defence in the first half and wing defence in the second half. Michelle Magee helped herself to four gains, four deflections and a rebound, while through the midcourt, captain Caroline O’Hanlon had an equal game-high 13 goal assists, but also three deflections and one gain,. In the shooting circle, Emma Magee shot 12 goals from 17 attempts, and had one rebound and 11 goal assists, while Ciara Crosbie recorded 17 goals from 24 attempts and two rebounds.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments