To do it, Cassie Jackman, newly promoted to No 1, had to win a repeat of last year's world junior final against Sabine Schone. However, instead of being taken the full distance, the Norfolk teenager this time won emphatically 9-2, 9-5, 9-1.
The retirement announcement of Susan Devoy looks likely to have a galvanising effect upon the individuals in England's team, any one of whom is capable of succeeding the New Zealander as British Open champion this season. The Guernsey women, Lisa Opie and Martine Le Moignan, also won in straight games, while the British national champion, Sue Wright, was obliged to sit on the bench.
Devoy unselfishly agreed to finish her career in this team event which New Zealand have little chance of winning rather than after her World Open triumph on Saturday. But she began as if hung over, and dropped a game to the world No 16, Tuula Myllyniemi, as the Kiwis beat Finland 3-0.
England's closest rivals, Australia, also started well, beating the Netherlands 3-0.Reuse content