COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Mayes insists England will come back stronger

Anna Mayes

Anna Mayes

First published in Sport

ANNA Mayes insists England’s netball team will come back stronger once the dust has settled on missing out on Commonwealth Games bronze following defeat to Jamaica.

Head coach Mayes witnessed England suffer semi-final heartbreak at the SECC in Glasgow as they lost out to New Zealand in the very last second to miss out on the chance to go for gold at 13,000-capacity Hydro.

But regrouping over night, they came back determined to get their hands on a medal against Jamaica and it proved to be another tight affair with England holding a two-goal advantage after the first quarter.

Jamaica edged ahead 25-24 at half-time while the destination of the bronze medal was still no clearer after the third quarter with the scores level at 37-37 at the Hydro.

But Jamaica finished the stronger, finally opening up some breathing space before triumphing 52-48, to leave Mayes reflecting on a lack of sharp shooting at crucial times.

“We are absolutely gutted. I think the girls are better than the performance they put out there,” she said.

“It’s always a very fiery passionate contest between England and Jamaica. Credit to the umpires, they let the game flow at times when it needed to.

“We did wear them down but we were not clinical enough when we needed to be. In the last quarter we needed to do what we had been doing well.

“But we backed off and played quite laterally and didn’t make sure we had depth. But credit to Jamaica, they scored when they needed to.

“Using this as a positive is the only option in terms of moving forward. We will unpick all our performances, we will debrief but unfortunately we weren’t good enough out there in that match.”

The result means England were unable to repeat the bronze medal they won in Delhi four years ago and Mayes conceded their earlier semi-final defeat to New Zealand may still have been playing on their minds.

“Credit to the girls, they threw everything both physically and mentally out there in the semi-final and it was so unfortunate not to finish off that game,” she added.

“It was a hard task to recover from that match. We were definitely coming out all guns blazing in the final, but I think we were a bit tentative, a bit nervous, particularly in that first half.”

Commonwealth Games England (CGE) leads and manages the participation of the Team England at the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games. We work with sports, Sponsors and Sport England to support the development of athletes and their sports, and to achieve success at Games-time.

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