England took a big step towards the Vitality Netball World Cup semi-finals with victory over world number two-ranked Jamaica today.
A wonderful performance by captain Serena Guthrie steered Tracey Neville’s side to a 56-48 win, with the decisive period of the match coming as the hosts stretched their previously narrow lead in the final stages of the third quarter.
The win means that England are now in the driving seat to claim one of the two semi-final spots on offer to those teams in Group G, while Jamaica’s hopes hang by a thread after what was their second defeat in two days.
South Africa took advantage of Jamaica’s defeat, beating Scotland in the day’s final game to join England on six points at the top of the group. The combination of results means that Thursday evening’s clash between the Roses and the Proteas looks destined to decide the group winners.
Uganda were also winners in Group G, edging a close contest against Trinidad and Tobago 57-54.
There was also drama in the session’s Group E fixture, as Fiji’s late, would-be equaliser was adjudged to have been scored after the clock had ticked down, meaning that Samoa picked up their first win of the tournament by the narrowest of margins: 55-54.
Earlier in the day, Australia and New Zealand both registered comfortable victories in Group F, while Northern Ireland were narrowly beaten by Malawi. In the opening Group E match, Tharjini Sivalingam scored the highest individual goal tally of the tournament so far, as her 76 goals helped Sri Lanka beat Singapore.
Results from session 8 matches:
Jamaica 48-56 England (Group G)
Fiji 54-55 Samoa (Group E)
Trinidad and Tobago 54-57 Uganda (Group G)
South Africa 66-38 Scotland (Group G)
The latest preliminaries stage 2 group tables are available here.
Preliminaries stage 2 continue tomorrow, with three fixtures in Group F (Northern Ireland v New Zealand, Australia v Malawi and Zimbabwe v Barbados) in the afternoon, and two Group E games (Fiji v Singapore and Sri Lanka v Samoa) in the morning. Group G teams, including England, Scotland and Jamaica have their first rest day of the competition before playing their next games on Wednesday.
The full tournament schedule is available to view here.
Courtesy of Netball World Cup