Match 1 – Wales vs South Africa
Our first match of the 2023 Netball World Cup was against the home nation South Africa. The Welsh Feathers didn’t only have to contend with the Spar Proteas on the court, but also the deafening roar of the home crowd in the stands.
The first quarter was dominated by the home team, but Wales bounced back in the remaining three quarters. Despite the Welsh Feathers going down by 9 goals in the first quarter, they won the second quarter by one goal.
Nansi Kuti was the only change of the match, as she came on to court at goal shooter for Georgia Rowe. Nansi not only made her debut at a World Cup, but also gained her first cap as a Welsh Feather which makes Nansi Welsh Feather #221.
In the third quarter, Wales kept close to South Africa. The third quarter score finished 15-13 to the Spar Proteas, and the Welsh Feathers only lost by one in the last quarter (14-13).
Q2: 24-32 (15-14)
Q3: 37-47 (13-15)
Q4: 50-61 (13-14)
Match 2 – Wales vs Jamaica
Our next match saw us come up against the Commonwealth Games silver medallists Jamaica. It was a tough battle, but one the Welsh Feathers relished.
The Sunshine Girls showed us why they were in the finals at the Commonwealth games and dominated all four quarters.
At half time, Welsh Feather Ella Powell-Davies said their aim for that game was to disrupt the space of the Jamaicans as much as they could.
“They are world-class players and we wanted to put as much pressure on the feed as we could in the circle. And when we got the disruption, it was key that we took possession of that ball.
Tomorrow, we face Sri Lanka, and it is a game that we want to go out there and meet all our performance goals. We want to have a full 60-minute performance and hopefully we can achieve that tomorrow.”
Jamaica continued their dominance in the second half and won the match 75-40. Wales kept Jamaica to their lowest score-line of the tournament so far.
Q2: 23-44 (12-21)
Q3: 29-58 (6-14)
Q4: 40-75 (11-17)
Match 3 – Wales vs Sri Lanka
With both Wales and Sri Lanka chasing a first victory of the Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town, there was plenty to play for when the two sides went head-to-head in their final Group C clash.
On the line was a place in the second stage of the preliminaries with only the top three teams in each pool progressing. And it was the Welsh Feathers who got the job done with a 68-56 victory.
Some great intercepts from the Welsh Feathers ensured we edged ahead, taking a six-goal advantage into the first break. After a break in play, Wales managed to pick up where they left off, Ella Powell-Davies and Christina Shaw doing exceptionally well on defence, widening the gap to head into halftime with a 30-22 lead.
A 10-goal gap by the end of the third period proved too much to close for Sri Lanka, and with goal shooter Georgia Rowe completing a near-flawless performance in the Wales circle, with 49 goals from 50 attempts, the Feathers wrapped up the crucial 68-56 victory.
Ella Powell-Davies was named Most Valuable Player and said, “It’s so, so good – a massive boost of confidence for this squad. We’ve had a tough couple of games and Sri Lanka really brought it to us today. It was super tough out there, but to get the win is a massive boost and we’re looking forward to going through to the next group.”
Q2: 30-22 (13-11)
Q3: 50-40 (20-18)
Q4: 68-56 (18-16)
Player of the Match: Ella Powell-Davies