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M1 Nations Cup 2019 Day 6 Match Reports


The first match of the final day at the M1 Nations Cup 2019 saw Ireland secure their second victory of the tournament with a hard-earned win against Papua New Guinea (47 – 37).  
Both teams were equally matched for the majority of the game with just a  few points separating the sides for the first three quarters. Ireland however lead throughout each quarter and eventually in the final 15 minutes, pulled away to end the match comfortably with a 47-37 win. 
 With this result, the Irish have taken 5​th​ place at this year’s tournament (2017 4​th​ place). Papua New Guinea have finished at the bottom of the table. 
Coach of Ireland, Joan Young “It was a good performance today. The girls have made a promise to themselves that they’d be fighting for every game. Some point in every game we’ve allowed our performance to drop but today, they managed to keep it together and have come away with a good win. One of the great pleasures of the tournament is that we’ve actually got five players out of the twelve that are new and two of them are eighteen and nineteen. So it’s their first full international experience so, it’s promising for the future. 
Captain of Papua New Guinea, Courtney Abel “We came in not knowing what to expect, it’s a brand new team and a lot of girls have not been exposed to this level of competition so we did not know what to expect but I think we showed a lot of heart, we learnt, every game we learnt something new and I think we stepped up every time.  
I think PNG needs to learn, our administrators especially that they can’t keep renewing the team because when I was first selected into the PNG netball team, it was exactly like this and we played against Ireland in 2014 or 2015 and it was exactly the same results. Exactly the same thing repeated itself with the brand new team. We are back to square one basically, so I think we have a lot to kick up on in terms of administration, looking after our national team and ensuring that we are developing and not regressing.” 
The match between Cook Islands and Botswana was the second match of the final day. Both teams gave their all and it was a closely fought battle.  
Mistakes by Cook Islands’ shooters cost the Islanders some points, while Botswana’s strong stamina and agility gave them the needed edge in the second quarter, going into the break with 21-27. Cook Island’s swift passes and better synergy closed the gap in the last two quarters, giving them just enough to end the tournament with 49:46 and the third place of this year’s M1 Nations Cup.  
Coach of Cook Islands, Anna Andrews-Tasola It was much better today. The girls has been building all week, we haven’t been able to put out a full game performance together so I it was really great to see that the team came together really well. 
Coach of Botswana, Sithulile Mlotshwa “I think it showed that we are exhausted and we are mentally defeated. Because in a game of              netball, if you are leading a game with 5 goals you need to maintain that and my players had faile to maintain that today. I think we were not mentally ready whilst Cook Islands is still the better team at the end of the day.  
I would like to thank the girls for their hardworking which surmounted to what they have achieved over this tournament. In the game of netball, you lose some and you win some, though we did not get a medal, our ranking had still improved. Singapore has become our second home, thank you for all the support especially from Singapore netball associates and the journalists, if not for you guys Botswana will not have a chance to make our name known to the world.” 
The grand finals for the M1 Nations Cup 2019 saw Namibia and Singapore battle it out for the trophy. The adrenaline-filled match had Namibia emerging as champions as they beat Singapore 49 –  42.  
The stakes were high and both teams went into the game hard and fast. Singapore mostly played catch-up in the first quarter but soon got into their momentum with smooth passes and good interceptions in the second quarter. Captain and shooter Charmaine Soh’s accuracy at the net helped Singapore gain a five-point lead, with 20 -25 at halftime. 
However, Namibia closed the gap in the third quarter with their swift interceptions and extended their lead further in the last quarter. Namibia’s shooter Jaumbuaije Zauana’s 193cm stature proved to be too strong for Singapore’s defences – Melody Teo and Sindhu Nair, throughout the second half of the game. Despite the valiant efforts from Singapore, the girls were not able to bring the trophy                  home and Namibia went home as the M1 Nations Cup 2019 Champions.  
Coach of Namibia, Julene Meyer “I am very happy with their performance today! A huge congratulations to Singapore too, they were worthy of competition. I am very happy with how the girls came back especially after their deficit, they kept on going, and they got their momentum, overall much better performance. I am really looking forward to celebrating the win.” 
Coach of Singapore, Natalie Milicich “I think that the finals is a hard stage. So I think that we’ve learnt a lot from our match today and I’m just really proud that we got to the finals. Just those little connections that we were missing, like having lost Kimberly with a very serious injury, so we knew it was going to take us a bit of time to connect with one another but I’m very proud of what we’ve done out there.  
 I think what we were struggling with was just our connections. We got enough balls to actually win the game but I think the timings were important as well as just the availability to the ball was just something that we missed today.  
I absolutely think we are on the right track. With the loss of Kimberly we have the opportunity to try out something different so we just need a bit of time to get that right. As I said I’m really proud of them getting into the finals and not many people would’ve thought that we could have done that. We’ll definitely take a positives out of the way and we’ll take the learnings out of this match.”