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.

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

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future