Netball World Cup 2019: Scotland 53-35 Samoa

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Netball World Cup 2019: Scotland win opener against Samoa
2019 Netball World Cup on the BBC
Venue: Liverpool Arena Dates: 12-21 July
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and app from 15 July; Follow daily live text commentaries online. Full details.

Scotland began their Netball World Cup campaign with a convincing 53-35 victory over Samoa on the opening day of the competition in Liverpool.

With the top three advancing from the section, the Thistles knew beating the group's lowest-ranked nation was key.

Gail Parata's side led 9-7 after the first quarter and six unanswered scores gave them a 24-16 half-time lead.

Bethan Goodwin and Lynsey Gallagher kept the dominant Scots out of reach thereafter, with 21 and 23 goals each.

The Thistles were organised in defence by the experienced goalkeeper Hayley Mulheron while, at the opposite end, 17-year-old Emma Barrie scored eight goals from her nine attempts.

The victory will boost confidence ahead of Saturday's tie against third-ranked England (15:00 BST), but the noisily-backed Roses will represent far tougher opposition after they swept aside Uganda.

And Scotland's Claire Maxwell said: "You want to compete against the world's best and that's what they've got in their side. The betting odds would probably show that they're hands-on favourites to win that game. We want to push them as hard as we can.

"It's really good to get a convincing win at the end. There were patches in there we won't be too pleased at I'm sure when we look back but there were patches of real excellence."

On Sunday, the Scots will face the Ugandans - ranked one place above them in sixth - knowing that a place in the second stage will be within their grasp.

The young Scots have set a top-eight finish as their target, their highest-ever ranking of seventh in the world suggesting it may be realistic.

All but one of the 12-strong World Cup squad plays for Strathclyde Sirens in the Superleague, which has provided the Scots with a platform to try to close the gap on higher-ranked nations.

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