Netball - Malta beats Switzerland, steaming ahead in final quarter
Switzerland 27-50 Malta
Malta, Gibraltar’s early morning opponents on Saturday, blazed ahead from the start taking a 5-0 lead against the Swiss before there was any response this Friday afternoon.
Malta, who had lost against the Isle of Man in the first match of the Europe Netball Open Challenge on Thursday took full advantage of a Swiss team that just hours earlier been hammered by Gibraltar 74-18.
The Swiss woke up to the game after scoring their first and kept the Maltese at their five points as they searched for a second but were unable to stop them scoring as the quarter reached its midpoint.
Malta had shown some moments of magic the previous day and were now showing that they had the capability of taking on the challenge, the Maltese going to an 8-2 lead with five minutes left of the quarter. Switzerland, in black, showed some grit in trying to find a route to goal.
Wayward passes and a miss sighting of their opponents exposed them at the back as Malta went into double
Switzerland found a pathway towards goal in the latter stages of the quarter with some well delivered passes lifting them to close the gap to 11-8 with a minute to go. The first quarter finishing Switzerland 8-12 Malta.
For the Swiss team the tournament had become an opportunity to give a very young squad international experience as they made a return to the competition.
The first five minutes of the second quarter saw just the one goal with Switzerland benefitting from a touchline error.
Malta fired three in response within the next couple minutes. They went on to add to their tally as the Swiss misfired in attack only scoring their tenth with three minutes left for half time. The Swiss defence keeping them in game with a strong performance to slow Malta down under the basket. Malta entering half time with a 12-18 lead.
Malta came out into the third quarter and pressed ahead with five minutes gone into the quarter they were 15-24 ahead in the scoreboard.
They, nevertheless, struggled at times to contain Switzerland who kept a steady distance from them as Malta reached the final five minutes of the quarter with an 18-29 lead.
The Swiss steadily played to reduce this. Patient build up play taking them to cut the gap to 22-29 before Malta added their next goal with a minute to go. The third quarter finishing 22-32 as Malta added two further goals.
Malta made no mistake in the final quarter as they sped ahead to a convincing finish reducing the Swiss to a handful of points. Malta winning with a 27-50 final result. Their next opponent will be hosts Gibraltar early on Saturday morning. Their result giving them some confidence after watching Gibraltar demolish Switzerland earlier today by a 74-18 scoreline.