VICTORY: England's netballers
A MASTERFUL second half display from England saw them seal a 69-36 win over Trinidad & Tobago in Liverpool this evening, clinching a 3-0 Series victory in Tracey Neville’s first International commitments as head coach.
With a Series win already confirmed, a couple of changes were made to the starting line-up with Stacey Francis making her comeback from injury at GD and Pamela Cookey being utilised in a rare WA appearance.
England raced out of the blocks and were quick to assert themselves on the game, Sonia Mkoloma clinching a smart early intercept and Helen Housby looking composed in the shooting circle.
The visitors responded well and started to make in-roads into the lead, although England remained in relative control with a 14-8 advatnage at the end of the opening quarter.
No changes were made for the second quarter but it wasn’t to be long before the hosts were forced into making one. Kadeen Corbin was involved in a collision with a Calypso Girls defender and had to be replaced, Rachel Dunn entered the action.
The break in play failed to halt the charge from the ladies in red as they upped the tempo to pull further clear heading into the half-time. At the interval England had moved 31-19 in front.
Neville continued to assess her options in the second half as she introduced Natalie Haythornthwaite at WA and brought Sasha Corbin into Centre. Cookey reverted to her more familiar role at GA.
With the defence continuing to look strong, the attack also started firing. Dunn was looking in imperious form, netting from all over the circle. The combination work in attack was easily breaking through the away defence and England roared clear at 51-26 with a quarter remaining.
A brand new defensive pairing was tried for the final fifteen minutes as Sam Cook joined Layla Guscoth. Francis was switched to WD as more combinations were tested.
Dunn and Cookey took their wonderful domestic form to the international scene and were in full flow as England took complete control against an increasingly dejected looking Trinidad & Tobago side.
The energy refused to drop and despite a last hurrah from the visitors, scoring the final two goals of the encounter, England were able to celebrate a dominant Series victory at the final whistle.
Player of the Series went to our newest centurion Pamela Cookey while Sara Bayman was awarded Player of the Match following another sublime display.
Next up for England is a trip to Belfast for Netball Europe later this week. The squad for this tournament sees a couple of new faces come in as Neville continues to look at various players ahead of naming her final 12 next month that will go on to compete at the Netball World Cup in Australia.
England starting 7: GS - K.Corbin, GA - Housby, WA - Cookey, C - Bayman, WD - Malcolm, GD - Francis, GK – Mkoloma
Trinidad & Tobago starting 7: GS - Wallace, GA - Cooper, WA - Jack, C - Guerero, WD - Connelly, GD - Duncan, GK - Swift