Uganda netball team, the She Cranes got off to a rather bad start at the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England as they went down to hosts England in their opening Group D game.
England seemed to be pumped up in-front of their adoring fans and managed to use their home advantage to good use as their forward pair Helen Housby and experienced shooter Jo Harten who was making her 100thstart for her country got off to put them ahead.
The She Cranes however were not taking this lying down, Captain Peace Proscovia and her partner Racheal Nanyonga showed their prowess to drag Uganda back into the game. But England would hold on as they adopted a rather cautious approach to lead 15-6 at the end of the first period.
The second quarter saw Uganda get more hold of the game with Ruth Meeme and Stella Oyera joining in on the action but again Nanyonga and Proscovia ran riot, showing impeccable precision in the shooting circle.
But defensively, the She Cranes struggled to keep tabs on Harten as Lilian Ajio, Sylvia Nanyonga and Muhayimina Namuwaya failed to stop Serena Guthrie’s feed into her. Despite Uganda growing in confidence, the hosts would still lead by 10 goals heading into the third quarter.
In the third quarter, Uganda showed better physical presence in an attempt to close off England. But the hosts would prevail again, winning the quarter by 13-8 to increase their overall advantage to 44-24 going into the final quarter.
The She Cranes still managed to win some few hearts with their spirit but Uganda’s Centre Ruth Meeme was sent off the court after she fouled out. From then on, the Roses ran riot with substitute Rachel Dunn scoring 14 out of her 16 shots.
England would hold their nerve on the other end to concede only six goals in the final quarter as they ran out 64-32 winners to open their home World Cup in solid fashion.
In the other games played on the day, New Zealand defeated Malawi 64-45 while Barbados won against Singapore 69-34 in Group A. Australia thumped Northern Ireland 88-24 with Zimbabwe defeating Sri-Lanka 79-49 in Group B
While Jamaica beat Fiji Islands 85-29 as South Africa were 76-45 victors over Trinidad & Tobago in Group C with Scotland edging out Samoa 53-35 in the other Group D game.
Uganda return to action tomorrow in their second group game against minnows Samoa at 7 pm local time while England will play rivals Scotland in the other Group D fixture.