Embed from Getty ImagesNew Zealand ?? 64 Uganda ?? 51Gold Coast, Australia | SILVERFERNS.CO.NZ | The New Zealand netball team opened their Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games campaign with a hard-fought 64-51 win over Uganda on Thursday.Delivered a testing workout by Uganda, the New Zealanders were able to give all of their 12-strong squad valuable game time in the tournament-opener. On a number of occasions, New Zealand pushed out to a handsome advantage but Uganda, competing at their first Commonwealth Games, refused to buckle.Against a gritty opposition, New Zealand fielded a number of different combinations in a solid first-up workout but ultimately were forced to grind out the win while keeping Uganda at arm’s length.New Zealand have a short turnaround before facing Wales in their second match Friday while Uganda return Saturday against African rivals Malawi. Uganda’s She Cranes are African champion.With the expected competitive opening by Uganda, New Zealand opted for an experienced starting seven who were required to weather a testing first half. A late surge and a perfect return from Folau pushed New Zealand out to a 15-10 lead at the first break.Goalkeeper Kelly Jury and midcourter Claire Kersten were introduced on the resumption for New Zealand, replacing Temalisi Fakahokotau and Samantha Sinclair, respectively. However, Uganda continued to show their tenacious spirit in sticking tightly to their opponents.The tall and agile Proscovia remained a model of consistency under the Uganda hoop while receiving solid support from the unobtrusive figure of goal attack Rachel Nanyonga.With Folau continuing to show her class, New Zealand improved the flow and momentum on attack to double their advantage when taking a 32-22 lead into the main break.Making multiple changes for the second half, including the little-used shooting combination of Ameliaranne Ekenasio and Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Sinclair coming into centre and young defender Michaela Sokolich-Beatson making her entrance, New Zealand picked up the pace.Showing better timing and finding space on attack, the shooting duo got away to a flyer as New Zealand threatened to run away with the game.Undeterred, Uganda showed their ever-growing stature to gamely hang on. Continued poise and patience paid dividends for the No 7-ranked team, who quietly went about their business when ensuring the margin did not blow out.New Zealand held the hard-working Uganda at bay to keep their noses in front in an increasingly physical clash when heading into the last break with a 49-37 lead. Respective shooters Maria Folau for New Zealand and inspirational Uganda captain Peace Proscovia played key roles for their teams. Attending her fourth Commonwealth Games, the veteran Folau was on-song from the outset with her movement and pin-point accuracy from all points of the circle.The women in black didn’t have it all their own way in the opening exchanges, Uganda impressing with their whole-hearted defensive effort while showing patience and accuracy on attack. Share on: WhatsApp
18 Aug 2012 Champion Storey set for an Italian job Newly-crowned English under 16 champion Jake Storey (Alnmouth, Northumberland) has been rewarded for his success by being named in a threesome to represent England Golf in the Italian International under 16 Championship at the end of the month. He will join Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park, Derbyshire) and Haydn McCullen (Delamere Forest, Cheshire) for the event at Biella Golf Club on 28th – 30th August. Storey won the English under 16 Championship for the McGregor Trophy at Trevose in Cornwall last month with an impressive display, finishing on one over par and four strokes ahead of his nearest rival. (image © Tom Ward) Moore, who will celebrate his 15th birthday on 4th September, was last year’s English under 14 champion following his victory at Porters Park. Since then he has become an under 16 and schools international and this year has finished fourth in the McEvoy Trophy and fifth in the European Young Masters in Hungary. McCullen, who turned 16 earlier this month, is also an under 16 cap who finished runner-up in last year’s Douglas Johns Trophy. Like Moore, he is a member of the England boys’ squad and finished seventh behind Storey in the McGregor Trophy. The Italian under 16 Championship is played over 72 holes of stroke play with a cut after 36 holes, the leading 40 players and ties going forward to the final two rounds.