Wales netball stars beat Scotland to lift Northern Cup

South Wales Argus: VICTORY: The Wales netball team celebrate with the Northern Cup VICTORY: The Wales netball team celebrate with the Northern Cup

WALES’ netball team avenged their loss to Scotland earlier in the week to defeat them in the final of the 2014 Northern Cup on at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Thursday night.

A ferocious 60 minutes of action ended 42-34 to the hosts, and co-captain Suzy Drane applauded her team for learning lessons from the defeat 48 earlier.

“We built a lead but actually we could have continued to extend that so we're definitely going to be looking at that ready for the Europeans,” said Drane.

“But my thoughts right now, my gut reaction is with the win, and pleased with the improvement from Tuesday.”

The Scots were fired up and took much deserved confidence from their win in the week, but a sprightly start from Wales, featuring a clockwork partnership between Pontllanfraith star Cara Moseley and Leanne Jones in attack saw Wales jump ahead 12-6 at the first break and this set the tone.

Coach Melissa Hyndman said the team were well prepared.

"We knew that Scotland were going to come out like that, and it was important for us to make sure that we had an answer to it,” she said.

"We did our homework and we took it to them. I don't think it was complacency by us at all last time, they just wanted the game more than us."

Not only did the home team spend the day training on the court, but they also had a singing lesson with a professional opera singer.

"We actually learnt the national anthem, and the Wales A girls stepped up and sang with us tonight and that shows you the camaraderie," added Hyndman.

Scotland won the second quarter by a goal, and threatened to come back at Wales for much of the game.

The tempo was fast, and there was a sense of intense physicality on court with both teams upping the ante of European netball.

“They are a totally different team,” said Hyndman, speaking of the Scots.

“They seem a lot stronger, a lot fitter, and they are just working more as a team.

“The fact that they are working harder as a unit – I think it’s great. I think Netball Europe is going to be one humdinger of a tournament.”

That tournament takes place in Cardiff from May 30 to June 1 before the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July and August.

Gwent star Moseley had Wales second best shooting statistics on Thursday night with 23 from 30 – a 76.7% accuracy rate.

Ebbw Vale’s Sara Hale was also part of the fantastic Welsh win.

Start lines: Wales – GS Thomas L, GA Moseley, WA Jones K, C Drane, WD James, GD Jones N, GK Hale

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