Wales were well beaten by an imperious England side in their third match of the Commonwealth Games.
2018 Commonwealth Games
Wales: 31 England: 85
Monday 9 April 2018
Wales rang the changes for the clash against top-of-the-group England with Leila Thomas starting at goal keeper, Sarah Llewelyn at goal attack and Amanda Varey at wing attack for the injured Bethan Dyke.
England made a very strong start to the first quarter, but it was not from lack of trying from the Welsh defence as Leila Thomas scuppered a pair of English goals. Wales were not able to capitalise on turnovers as forced long passes betrayed a lack of composure early on in the contest. As England reached the ten-goal mark mid-way through the period, the management made the decision to bring on Cara Lea Moseley at goal attack and move Sarah Llewelyn to wing attack. Despite the ominously growing scoreline, there were some brilliant moments from the athletes in black. Kyra Jones forced a turnover mid-court and Nia Jones’ terrier-like defence spoiled another couple of Roses opportunities.
Captain Suzy Drane reminded her team to treat the next quarter as a fresh 15 minutes and to focus on their own processes and performance as Wales sought a way back into the game. Unfortunately, the speed and height of the English made it difficult for Wales to make in-roads as Serena Guthrie continued to prove a menace at centre. Wales simply could not get clean ball into the circle and at the break the English were cruising.
With a mind on the rest of a gruelling tournament, the bench made a number of additional changes following the break with Kelly Morgan joining Leila Thomas on court with Nia Jones taking a well-earned breather. It was certainly a brighter start for Wales as Chelsea Lewis and Cara Lea Moseley found the net several times within the first few minutes. A great read from Kelly Morgan allowed Wales to move up court and get another as the English maintained their exceptional level of performance in the match. Wales enjoyed a great period of play in the final three minutes as Lewis and Moseley bettered the tally from the meagre pickings of the previous two quarters.
Wales continued in improved form as the final quarter began, Nia Jones making a fabulous steal just when it seemed that the Roses were all but guaranteed another goal. Wales continued to build a modest score and it was testament to the players that they bettered the 27-goal tally that Scotland managed to amass against the Roses earlier in the tournament. It was, however, little consolation for Wales as they were thoroughly defeated by an England team that look every inch Commonwealth Games medallists.
Wales must now come together for the challenge of Uganda tomorrow. Centre pass will be at the more palatable time of 11.30am.
5-21 (5-21); 5-24 (10-45); 9-21 (19-66); 12-19 (31-85)