Netball: England beat Malawi in first of two-match series

Rachel Dunn
England's Rachel Dunn scored 13 from 13 attempts in the first half against Malawi

England beat Malawi 68-36 at London's Copperbox Arena to win the first game of their two-match series.

Visa problems meant Malawi were not able to travel to Sunday's scheduled opener in Liverpool.

Wales, who were brought in to fulfil the fixture, were beaten 70-25 by Anna Mayes's England.

And although the African nation put up a tougher fight, the hosts ensured they will go into Saturday's final game in Worcester with two wins to their name.

The matches are part of the preparation for the 2015 Netball World Cup, which takes place in Australia in August.

England v Malawi - quarter-by-quarter
Q1: Eng 16-9 MalawiQ2: Eng 19-10 Malawi
Q3: Eng 17-12 MalawiQ4: Eng 16-5 Malawi

The Malawi Queens - fifth in the world rankings - are the most successful sports team in their country, and finished one spot behind fourth-placed England at the Commonwealth Games this summer.

They made a quick start to Wednesday's game, turning over England's opening centre pass, but could not make it last.

Shooters Jo Harten and Rachel Dunn combined well in attack, alongside wing Tamsin Greenway, to score 13 unanswered points and send the hosts in 35-19 ahead at half-time.

Malawi put in an improved performance in the third quarter, reducing the deficit to 11, but they could only add five goals in the final quarter, compared to England's 16.