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    April 7, 2018

Wales Fall Short in epic Celtic Clash

A strong start for Wales but it wasn’t to be as the Thistles emerged victorious in one of international netball’s most physical games of recent times.

2018 Commonwealth Games

Wales: 47 Scotland: 51

Saturday 7 April

It was another nervy start for Wales as it became quickly apparent that it would be a physical day at the office for the two Celtic cousins on court. Scotland seemed to take the upper hand early in the match as Wales’ inability to get a pass away saw them cede possession several times. Nevertheless, Wales were dogged in attack and despite trailing on shooting percentage, turnovers and the penalty count, Wales took an early advantage in the match.

There was a more consistent start to the second quarter as the Thistles’ penalty count started to mount. A lovely long-range pass from Suzy Drane exemplified Wales’ use of space as the Dragons built a solid lead. However, Scotland were never far away and the physicality of the contest threatened to boil over at times. Indeed, at one point umpire, Helen George was forced to intervene to warn the teams to ‘settle down and play some netball!’ Wales seemed to lose the upper hand as Bethan Dyke took a tumble and was forced to retire. The Thistles then finished the period the better, drawing the quarter. Wales’ paper-thin advantage at half-time would prove little barrier for what was to come.

Wales took to the court and built another early lead, only for Chelsea Lewis to be frustrated by the umpire’s whistle on a couple of occasions. Within minutes, the lead had switched to Scotland and the tone was set for the quarter. Wales’ frustrations summarised when Suzy Drane made a great steal only to be blown up for having a toe in the circle. The umpires had seemed to have their minds made up as Nia Jones and Kelly Morgan were repeatedly penalised in defence. Cara Lea Moseley came off for Sarah Llewelyn as the management sought to get Wales back into the quarter. Scotland had a five-goal advantage at the interval and the wind was very much in Scottish sails.

Wales faced a massive fifteen minute shift as the final period began. However, despite Wales’ best efforts, the Scottish lead grew to 9 with just over 10 mins to go. The team showed bags of fortitude as they chipped away at their opponents’ lead with time quickly running out, but ultimately the clock got the better of them as the Celtic derby went north, with the Thistles securing a 4-goal margin of victory.

Wales must now regroup ahead of a huge match against England. The squad will enjoy a day’s break tomorrow with the game against the the Roses on Monday 9 April at 0400 UK time.

Quarter scores:

12-11 (12-11); 12-12 (24-23); 9-15 (33-38); 14-13 (47-51)

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