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Daily Record
Daily Record
Andy McGilvray

Netball World Cup joy for Lanarkshire stars as they help Scotland qualify for South Africa showpiece

A host of Lanarkshire stars played their part as Scottish Thistles qualified for the 2023 Netball World Cup in South Africa at the weekend.

Thistles came through the tough five games in as many days qualifiers at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow with four wins and a defeat.

They beat Republic of Ireland 87-17, Isle of Man 82-20, Northern Ireland 65-28 and Gibraltar 91-18.

Thistles then lost 58-51 to Wales in the final match, with both sides having already qualified for the tournament in Cape Town next summer.

Vice-captain Emily Nicholl, from Biggar, Strathaven’s Niamh McCall and Emma Barrie of Stonehouse were in the 12-strong squad alongside Beth Goodwin from Cambuslang and Kelly Boyle of Coatbridge.

Nicholl played all five games, while McCall played four and was on the bench against Gibraltar, which was the only game Barrie started, having been a substitute for the other four. Beth started four of the games, but was on the bench for the game against Gibraltar.

Head coach Tamsin Greenway said: “I think we had a very clear idea on what we needed to improve on from the Commonwealth Games [where they finished ninth] and in about eight weeks they’ve done it.

“They’ve taken the first step, and you saw that in the performances.

You get so caught up in the journey in what you’re trying to do you forget to take a step back and enjoy it.

“That’s the nice bit of being a coach, when you take a step back and they get what they owe themselves.”

Having beat Republic of Ireland and Isle of Man, the stakes were high when Thistles took on their Northern Irish rivals, with both sides having won all of their games up to that point.

But Thistles ran out convincing 65-38 winners to take a major step towards qualification, and Greenway added: “Coming in, knowing one of you is going to miss out on the World Cup, is pretty brutal, and it heaps on all kinds of pressure.

“This week has been fantastic. We are off to Cape Town, and that was our aim.”

Follow Lanarkshire Live Sport on Twitter via @LanLiveSport, like us on Facebook or find us on Instagram for the latest sports news, pictures and video.

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