Netball World Cup 2019: Holders Australia hammer Northern Ireland in opener

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Kelsey Browne of Australia looks for the pass in Friday's game against Northern Ireland

Kelsey Browne of Australia looks for the pass in Friday’s game against Northern Ireland
2019 Netball World Cup on the BBC
Venue:Liverpool ArenaDates:12-21 July
Coverage:Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and app from 15 July; Follow daily live text commentaries online. Full details.

Australia started their defence of the Netball World Cup with an 88-24 rout of Northern Ireland at Liverpool Arena.

The champions and number one ranked team raced into a 24-7 lead at the end of the first quarter to set the pattern of a one-sided game.

Towering captain Caitlin Bassett was dominant in attack while the Diamonds defence also impressed.

NI lost skipper Caroline O’Hanlon to injury while their shooting accuracy was well below Australia.

“It’s about keeping perspective and learning from this,” Northern Ireland coach Dan Ryan told Sky Sports.

“Some of the decisions we were making, we were making the situation hard for ourselves. But Australia were just too strong.”

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Ryan confirmed that centre O’Hanlon is OK but she will be assessed after her collision with Jamie-Lee Price.

Australia mid-courter Kelsey Browne was delighted after making her World Cup debut in Friday’s opener.

“It’s super exciting here, the atmosphere is amazing. Well done Liverpool! It’s great to get out there and get the win,” she said.

Australia’s Jamie-Lee Price and Northern Ireland opponent Neamh Woods battle for possession

“There were a few nerves and I’m excited to be at major tournament. We’re excited to have it under way.

“We wanted to go out and run through our structures. I think the best thing is we’ve got 12 players and hundreds of combinations.

“We’ve got massive depth so who knows what is to come in the next few days.”

Bassett bosses it

The Diamonds had won all five of the previous World Cup meetings between the two sides and from the off, their 100% record never looked in any danger.

Bassett converted all 18 of her opportunities in the first quarter to give the Diamonds a commnading advantage over their eighth-ranked opponents.

At the halfway mark there was a 30-goal gap between the sides, with the score standing at 45-15 to the holders.

Northern Ireland notched three times in the third quarter, but fell further behind as Australia increased their lead to 67-19.

Australia already had the two points wrapped up prior to the fourth and final period, but still had time to convert another 21 times as they eased towards the final whistle.

Northern Ireland will look to get their first points of the tournament in Saturday’s fixture against Sri Lanka.

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame this summer to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women’s sport available to watch across the BBC this summer, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women’s sport and alter perceptions.Find out more here.

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