Netball World Cup 2019: Uganda 52-43 Scotland
|2019 Netball World Cup on the BBC|
|Venue: Liverpool Arena Dates: 12-21 July|
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Scotland progressed to the second stage of the Netball World Cup despite losing 52-43 to Uganda in their final preliminary round encounter.
Uganda, ranked one place above Scotland in sixth, finish second in Group D behind England, whose win over Samoa ensured the Thistles advance.
Captain Claire Maxwell won her 100th cap but the centre could not stem the flow of Ugandan attacks.
Stella Oyella's shooting accuracy was too much for Gail Parata's side.
"The last time we played it was a 20-goal difference," the coach told BBC Scotland. "Today's it's nine, so we're building. You can see how young our players are - most will be there for the next World Cup."
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'We took a long time to adjust'
Scotland and Uganda went into the match with identical records - a win over Samoa and a defeat by England - making this a straight shootout for second place in the group.
The teams traded goals in the opening 10 minutes before Oyella and inspirational captain Peace Proscovia moved Uganda into a 16-11 lead at the end of the opening quarter.
Emma Barrie, at 17 the youngest in the Scotland squad, came on for Bethan Goodwin and scored seven goals from nine attempts.
But that was not enough to prevent Uganda from extending their advantage to eight goals by half-time - 29-21 the score - their eye for the net matched by their ability to intercept Scotland's passes.
"It took us a long time to adjust to what they were trying to do us," Parata said. "But fair credit to Uganda - they finished their shots really well.
"In the end they had eight more attempts at goal than us and they put them away and that was the difference."
Parata sent on goal defence Ella Gibbons for Emily Nicholl five minutes into the third quarter, which Scotland won by a single goal, but that still left them with too much to do in the final quarter.
By that point, England had beaten Samoa 90-24 on the adjacent court, the din of the home supporters often drowning out the cheers of the Scottish and Ugandan fans.
However, it confirmed that Samoa would finish bottom of the table while Scotland and Uganda would go through to contest the second stage of the preliminaries starting on Monday.
What happens now?
Scotland now go into a six-team group along with England and Uganda and the top three from Group C.
Their results against their preliminary stage rivals carry over, meaning Parata's side will face Jamaica, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
The top two nations in that section advance to the semi-finals, with the teams finishing third and fourth competing for fifth to eighth positions in the final reckoning.
Scotland had targeted a top-eight finish, but will now likely have to upset either the world's second (Jamaica) or fifth (South Africa) best-placed countries to have any chance of doing so.
"Both of them are going to be tough," Parata said. "I know they can do it because I've seen it. We need to be really consistent now. We're at the World Cup and this is where you need real consistency."
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