Netball: Singapore lose to Cook Islands but will play Ireland for third place in Nations Cup on Saturday

The Singapore netball team started brightly in the first quarter, but sloppy passing towards the end of the period allowed Cook Islands to take a 13-10 lead.
The Singapore netball team started brightly in the first quarter, but sloppy passing towards the end of the period allowed Cook Islands to take a 13-10 lead.ST PHOTO: LIM SAY HENG

SINGAPORE - The Singapore netball team were beaten 57-49 by Cook Islands in their final group-stage match at the OCBC Arena on Friday (Dec 8) evening.

The hosts started brightly in the first quarter, but sloppy passing towards the end of the period allowed the Oceanic nation to take a 13-10 lead.

Cook Islands stretched the lead in the second quarter after a slow start by Natalie Milicich's team, and went into half-time 31-21 down. Milicich made a raft of changes at half-time, including the introduction of Nurul Baizura at centre and it worked a treat, as Singapore won the third quarter 15-13 to reduce the deficit to 44-36.

Despite a spirited performance in the last period, the Republic could only draw 13-13, and lost the dead rubber tie 49-57.

Singapore was the highest-ranked team in the annual invitational tournament (19th) and had aimed to reach the final, but losses to Ireland and Swaziland in the first two days of competition put paid to their ambitions.

The Republic will face Ireland in the third/fourth-placed match on Saturday (Dec 9), while Cook Islands will play against Swaziland for the title, after the latter beat Ireland 50-24 on Friday to place second in the group.

Hong Kong and Malaysia will contest for fifth place on the last day of the tournament. The two sides also met on Friday in a group-stage game, which Hong Kong won 50-44.