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Scottish Thistles Retain Top 9 Spot in Gold Coast Games

12th April 2018

Today marked the end of the Scottish Thistles’ Gold Coast Commonwealth Games campaign, having played their final Team Scotland game of the tournament.   

 

Competing in Pool B against New Zealand, England, Malawi, Uganda and Wales, all but one team being ranked higher than the Thistles, was always going to be a challenge – but a challenge that our athletes have been preparing for, and were more than capable of competing for.  And that they did (you can catch up on our matches by clicking the links held within the Results section below). 

 

Previous results against the likes of New Zealand and Malawi (14-71 and 35-62 at Glasgow 2014 respectively) were vastly approved upon, challenging New Zealand 29-60 earlier this week, and pushing World number 6 Malawi to a one-goal match the following day (being pipped to the post 50-51).  The strength, fitness, match smarts and determination showcased by our athletes throughout this full campaign has been truly inspiration, and by all accounts eye-opening for those unfamiliar with the amount of work and training our team put into the sport.  No more so than in today’s early morning (UK time) extra time thriller against Barbados. 

 

In a topsy-turvy match, Lynsey Gallagher continued to keep the Thistles within touching distance down the stretch and as time expired Lynsey scored to tie the game at 39-39, forcing overtime.  Overall, Lynsey scored 35 of our 50 goals today, a real force to be reckoned with and a name hot on the lips of the BBC coverage commentating due of Sue Gaudion and Kathryn Harby-Williams.  

 

Talking after the match, the sharp-shooter said: “There was a little bit of a flash back to that Malawi game, but I was just like, breathe, set your shot, you do this all of the time in training so just sink it and then the girls did the rest really.”   

 

Results: 

England 

28 – 74 

Wales 

51 – 47 

New Zealand 

29 – 60  

Malawi 

50 – 51  

Uganda

37 – 57  

Barbados 

50 – 48  

 

To be so close to teams who have for a long time dominated the world stage is encouraging, but not surprising to those involved behind the scenes, who already know just how talented our Scottish Thistles (and #FutureThistles) are and believe that a Top 8 spot (and higher) is very much in touching distance.  Some of the tournament stats reported for our team are quite remarkable – like, Bethan Goodwin nailing 143 of the Thistles’  254 goals, Lynsey G shooting with an average shooting percentage of 88, 10 outstanding (and game changing) intercepts for the fantastic Fiona Fowler, and 29 defensive pick ups from the one and only Hayley Mulheron. 

 

Further celebration came in the form of 75th International caps for both Lynsey Gallagher and Samantha Murphy.  A fantastic milestone to reach in an International career.  Both individuals have been integral members of the Scottish Thistles line up for many years, and at just 25 years old, we hope to see them add many more caps to their tally.

 

The support we have received over the last few weeks has been truly remarkable and has had such influence on our athletes.  To know that our members, followers and fans are behind the team and management, and feel inspired and encouraged by their performances is wonderful.  Thank you.  For the early mornings, the messages, the photographs – for it all.  We always say that our #ThistlesArmy fans are the best, and once again you have shown this to us and the world. 

 

On social media alone, the Netball Scotland Facebook page has reached over 40,000 and gained 325 new followers – our Tweets have reached over 350,000 (the Malawi result reaching 34,000 alone)!  I think we can say the profile of netball in Scotland is on the up, and a lot of that is with thanks to our team and these exciting performances. 

 

What’s next for this group?

Well, once back in the country, the Vitality Netball Superleague kicks off again with 9 of the Team Scotland line up returning to their UWS Sirens team, Hayley returning to Team Northumbria, and Fiona kick starting her Adelaide Thunderbirds Suncorp Super Netball campaign.  So, lots going on! 

 

Not too far in the future is the Netball World Cup 2019 which takes place next summer in Liverpool.  So watch this space Thistles fans – lots of International netball coming your way. 

 

Thank you Team Scotland for your support and guidance throughout this competition, being part of the wider Team Scotland family in the only International multi-sport event to represent Scotland, has been another remarkable experience for our team, management and volunteers, and something we look forward to doing again come 2022. 

#SucceedAsATeam #TeamScot2018  #GC2018Netball 

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