By Hannah Blackwell
Wales captain Nia Jones has admitted their Netball World Cup campaign has followed predictions with the Welsh Feathers failing to make the top eight.
Jones’ team battled hard but were eventually worn down by Uganda in a 73-56 defeat in their sixth game at the tournament in South Africa.
The defeat leaves Wales unable to make the top eight nations and they must now beat their final Group G opponents Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday to compete for either a 9th or 10th final placing.
If Wales lose, they will face an 11th-12th place play-off instead.
Wales’ Netball World Cup campaign continues today! 🏴
⌚️ The Welsh Feathers take on Uganda at 10:00 BST
— BBC Sport Wales (@BBCSportWales) August 2, 2023
Uganda are only one place above Wales in the world rankings – ninth, compared to eighth – but they were just too strong for Wales.
Goal shooter Mary Cholhok was once again a pillar of strength for Uganda, playing the first three quarters and converting 42 of her 44 shots.
The first quarter was tight, with Uganda winning it, 15-12.
Wales kept themselves in touch in the second quarter, looking to silence the crowd supporting Uganda.
Wales are back in action in the Netball World Cup tomorrow, as they take on Uganda 👀
Can the Welsh Feathers bounce back from their defeat to defending champions New Zealand? 🏐#BBCNetball
— BBC Sport Wales (@BBCSportWales) August 1, 2023
The third quarter was the most significant in which Uganda extended their lead further to take control of the game. Wales stayed competitive in the final session but could not deny Uganda eventual victory, by a margin of 17.
Jones said: “When we saw the World Cup draw, we knew it would be difficult for us to finish inside that top eight.
“Everything we were building for was for this Uganda game, so it was disappointing we didn’t get closer to them.
“They are an up-and-coming nation, they play an awesome style and keep the ball so well. It becomes a case of ‘how to solve a problem like Mary’ [Cholhok] as she was in fine form.”
Amidst a tough month, Mo’onia Gerrard drew strength from representing Tonga at the Netball World Cup. Representing the red and white gave her purpose on the court.
📺Watch The Pacific every Thursday from August 3rd on ABC Australia
🕖7pm PNG time pic.twitter.com/yCr0B0FnTS
— ABC Pacific (@ABCPacific) August 2, 2023