The Vitality Roses showed their dominance on the court once again and beat Uganda 65-53 to seal the Vitality Netball International Series with a game to spare.
It was another hard-fought battle against the She Cranes, who the Roses faced on Tuesday 27 November at the Echo Arena in Liverpool when they narrowly won the game 50-46.
As the excitement moved to the Copper Box Arena in London, England fans once again showed their incredible support for the Roses who played on home soil for the first time since the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday.
England’s captain, Serena Guthrie, opened up the game and took the first centre pass.
The Roses quickly set the tempo with Rachel Dunn securing the first goal of the game, but Uganda followed in kind taking the score to 1-1 in the first minute.
Similarly to the first high octane game in Liverpool, the two sides continued to go goal-for-goal in the opening stages with both Dunn and Peace Proscovia remaining on target.
The Roses continued to keep possession and put the pressure on Uganda, establishing a strong lead towards the end of the first quarter.
An exciting and fast-paced first quarter left the score at 19-11 to the Vitality Roses.
The Roses quickly took possession of the ball following a centre pass from the Ugandan team at the start of the second quarter and England secured the first three goals of the quarter.
The She Cranes put up a good fight, with Proscovia scoring the team’s first goal of the quarter.
Guthrie read the game well though and flew in with a stunning intercept following a centre pass from Uganda and the Roses transitioned the ball down the court giving Dunn another opportunity to score.
Great movement between Guthrie, Helen Housby and Dunn in the last few minutes of the quarter meant the Roses continued to increase their lead significantly leaving it at 39-22 at half time.
England got the second half of the match up and running with the first centre pass, Guthrie got the ball to Dunn who secured the first goal of the third quarter.
The She Cranes followed suit with a goal from Proscovia, making the score 40-23 in the first minute of the second half.
The She Cranes then took advantage of a missed opportunity by the Roses and linked up to Proscovia, who made made no mistake.
Excellent teamwork between Guthrie, Jade Clarke and Dunn meant the Roses increased their lead even further.
Head Coach, Tracey Neville made a change in the last four minutes of the quarter, with Sasha Corbin coming on as WA in place of Natalie Haythornthwaite.
Another strong quarter for the Vitality Roses meant England led 51-35 as it came to a close.
Neville made further changes to the team in the last quarter, with Gabriella Marshall coming on at C, Razia Quashie as GK, Eboni Usoro-Brown moving to GD, Guthrie to WD and Haythornthwaite coming back on as GA, meaning Housby moved to GS.
Uganda made an entrance in the final quarter, keeping possession and manoeuvring the ball down the court, meaning Proscovia got another chance for a goal.
Further changes for the Roses meant George Fisher came on as GS and Francesca Williams, winning her first cap, came on as GD in the last six minutes of the game.
The She Cranes battled hard throughout the match, but England proved too strong and secured their second win of the series, with a 65-53 finish.
The Roses will face the She Cranes in the final match of the series on Sunday 2 December at the Copper Box Arena. The question on everyone’s lips now is can the Roses make it three for three?
England’s starting 7: Dunn (GS), Housby (GA), Haythornthwaite (WA), Guthrie (C), Clarke (WD), Gibson (GD), Usoro-Brown (GK)
Uganda’s starting 7: Proscovia (GS), Nanyonga (GA), Nakachwa (WA), Kizza (C), Namuwaya (WD), Ajio (GD), Nanfuka (GK)
photo Wagner Araujo
photo Jay Adeff