The Malta Netball team registered its first victory in international competition, after returning from a five-year hiatus, on Friday as Mariella Baldacchino’s girls beat Switzerland 50-27 in the Europe Netball Open Challenge in Gibraltar.
This was a battle between two sides who had opened their tournament commitments with a loss on Thursday but this time, Malta’s experience got the better of the Swiss youth. In fact, it was Malta that took every quarter of the game.
This win comes as a big relief for Malta after having lost to the Isle of Man 53-32 the day before and will be a deserved boost after a dominant performance against the Swiss, who opened with a tough 74-18 loss to hosts Gibraltar.
Speaking to the Times of Malta after the game, Malta coach Baldacchino explained that despite the loss to the Isle of Man, her players had built up momentum which they carried into Friday’s game.
“Our comeback against the Isle of Man, unfortunately, didn’t give us the result we wanted,” Baldacchino said.
“The team however showed good character and finished strong which helped build the momentum which was carried on in our second game of the tournament against Switzerland.
“In the match against Switzerland, the team’s overall performance improved with all the players in the squad involved in the game. Our strong defence pressured the Swiss into making errors which were capitalised by our attack. Transition into attack and movement of the ball through the court were at a faster pace.
Asked about the boost this win gives the team, particularly coming from such a long time away from competition as a National team, Baldacchino emphasized its importance but warned that there is more to be done.
“Today’s win is of great importance to the team for the coming games. All the players have worked hard for today’s result,” she said.
“We are however nowhere near to the team’s full potential. More work needs to be done on consistency in the team’s performance and the team is focused to achieve that. We are all working hard to reach that full potential for further wins to come.”
The team faces Gibraltar this morning at 8.30 am. WATCH HERE