Commonwealth Games 2014: Anna Mayes backs her ‘best-ever’ England netball team to pass tough tests

England, who won bronze at Delhi four years ago, were always in control inside the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre

Glasgow

Like any bright young coach, Anna Mayes is ambitious and, like today’s leading coaches, is not afraid to make that ambition plain. She believes her England side will be the best the country has ever produced. That is an assertion that will be tested like never before when they take on Australia on Saturday and South Africa on Sunday at the Commonwealth Games, but Friday’s thumping 65-25 victory over Wales will usher them into the weekend high on confidence.

England, who won bronze at Delhi four years ago, were always in control inside the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre on the banks of the River Clyde, 17-7 up by the end of the first quarter and  29-10 ahead at half-time. Nineteen goals in the third quarter killed their first Pool B contest and allowed them to cruise through the final minutes.

“I’m delighted with the start,” said Mayes. “The first game always sets the tone for the tournament and I was really pleased. We’ve been waiting for this day to come for so long that sometimes the excitement and adrenalin can get a bit heavy.

“We had a good start and demonstrated patience in attack and I feel like everyone had a great impact.

“Glasgow have been so  welcoming,” Mayes added, “and we’re just to build day by day and I genuinely believe this will be the best England side there has ever been.”

Jo Harten led the way for England, scoring 33 times from 43 attempts, while Rachel Dunn found the target with 20 of her 22 efforts.

“It was a promising start for us, there are always nerves around the first game so the fact we were able to leave them in the changing-room and have a strong start on court put us in good stead,” said Geva Mentor, England’s goalkeeper who is based in Melbourne.

“There was a patch in the second and the third quarter where we slowed, but it is about consistency for us.

“We’re always working for that perfect game as a team and as individuals, but when you combine everything, that will click.

“We have a tough game against Australia and we will build for that,” Mentor added, “and it’s about putting ourselves in the best possible position.”

Mayes’s optimism is founded on England’s recent form. Last year they earned their first series win over Australia in a season in which they lost only one match. A repeat victory against Australia today, and another against South Africa, would in all likelihood mean avoiding a semi-final against New Zealand, the favourites, who have won the last two Commonwealth golds.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Experienced Cover Supervisor

£12000 - £14400 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: Experienced Cover Supervisor...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Account Manager

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are proud to be on...

Ashdown Group: Application Support Engineer with SQL skills

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

Ashdown Group: Trainee / Graduate Helpdesk Analyst

£20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project