First win for Pearls

Picture: NWC2019

THE Fiji Pearls netball team scored its first win in the Netball World Cup at Liverpool, England after beating Singapore 71-56.

Lydia Panapasa, 18, was awarded the MVP of the match scoring 41 from 43 goals with a 96 per cent shooting accuracy despite playing only 39 minutes of the 60 minutes game.

Coach Vicki Wilson was excited because the win had allowed Fiji to be equal on points with Sri Lanka and Samoa in Group E.

Fiji started the match well against Singapore, but the opposition pulled few goals courtesy of two close-range finishes from Kai Wei Toh.

Panapasa scored six goals within three minutes of the first centre pass and added 11 more before the end of the first quarter to record a 100 rate of accuracy.

Matila Vocea replaced Panapasa in the second quarter and scored nine goals for 82 per cent shooting accuracy.

Fiji, NWC2019 reported, could have led by more had they taken slightly more care in the third quarter, but was content with the nine goals clear at the break.

Having been pegged back a little, Fiji were keen to take control of the fixture once again.

Their centre Kaitlyn Fisher, who was earning her eighth cap for her country, got the second half of the game under way, and with Panapasa now back on the court, Fiji began to pull away again.

Vocea improved as she switched to goal attack, while Panapasa clinically extended her 100 per cent record in front of the net to 32 goals from 32 attempts.

Panapasa finished the game having netted 41 times, missing twice in the final 15 minutes, though by this point the result was secure.

Adi Vakaoca Bolakoro said, “It’s amazing to win our first match of the tournament. “We executed our goals we’re very happy,” she said.

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