Netball Legends Series: England beat Superleague All Stars 70-54

Helen Housby shoots
Helen Housby returned to the England squad for the first time since 2019

England beat the Superleague All Stars 70-54 to win the first match of the Netball Legends Series.

Following a tight first half after which the Roses led by just six points, three changes at the break - including the return of Beth Cobden - swung the game in England's favour.

Goalkeeper Razia Quashie was named player of the match after a solid performance at the back.

"What a great game," said Roses head coach Jess Thirlby.

Speaking to Sky Sports, she added: "We knew we were going to be pushed and I think within the first couple of minutes we could see that it was going to be tight.

"We wanted to be challenged and we certainly got that from the All Stars.

"I thought we grew into the game, but we were tactically maybe a bit too slow in that first half to fix a few things."

The Netball Legends Series, played behind closed doors in Loughborough, has replaced England's fixtures against Jamaica, which were postponed over coronavirus concerns.

It is the Roses' first home competition since before the virus outbreak and Wednesday's match was only their fourth since before the pandemic.

Cobden and Layla Guscoth both made their England comebacks after lengthy spells out through injury, while Helen Housby donned the Roses dress for the first time since the 2019 World Cup.

The All Stars squad features a selection of talented players from Superleague clubs, with Severn Stars' Liana Leota captaining the side.

All Stars head coach Karen Greig told Sky Sports: "Tonight was all about seeing what we could do. Coming into this week, we didn't know how well these girls were going to gel or what combinations were going to work, so I think we've got a really good idea now off the back of tonight.

"Everyone's taken to court and made a good account of themselves, and we know what we've got to do going into the next game."

The second game of the three-match series takes place on Friday, with the third on Sunday.

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