Netball - UAE secure gold with 33-57 victory against Malta
It was a frantic start to the UAE versus Malta with the UAE looking to complete an unbeaten run to take gold in the competition.
After a couple of minutes trying they finally broke through and set about to go into a 4-0 lead before Malta responded with their own goal.
Strong in defence and efficient upfront the United Arab Emirates were soon well in the lead. It was not for lack of trying for Malta but faced with a brickwall defence they were kept at one goal for the better part of the first quarter. With six minutes left on the clock for the end of the first quarter Malta added their second to put the score at 9-2.
The UAE drove ahead to finish the first quarter with a 5-14 lead. For 16 year old UAE shooter Preston this was a perfect way to celebrate her birthday as the UAE secured gold, with the birthday girl slotting the points in herself.
Malta started with some confidence in the second quarter adding to their tally to make it 7-16 within the first couple minutes of the quarter. The Maltese side, although facing a formidable opponent not yielding to UAE’s onslaught.
Even doubling up on the marking of goal shooter Preston Malta were unable to slow the flow as the UAE racked up the points. The gold medalists strolling to halftime with a commanding 34-11 lead.
For Malta, with a formidable opponent before them and knowing that the UAE would take the victory they seemed to set their own goals and objectives from the match beyond the result. The applause from the bench on reaching the ten goals highlighting how this now seemed to be their focus on the game.
The UAE delivered a 21-45 finish to the third quarter. Malta provided a superb quarter with goal to goal as they stepped up with nothing to lose.
Even facing defeat Malta provided entertainment on court in the final quarter as they pushed the UAE matching them point for point during big parts of the quarter. This prompting the UAE to play somewhat rushed as they looked at keeping their points difference and headed for another big score.
Not wanting to be outdone on the court the UAE turned on the pressure themselves battling for the ball even though they had secured gold. The final result saw the UAE winning 33-57 but unable to win the final quarter with Malta matching them 12-12. There were two celebrations, Malta celebrating staying level in the final quarter with the UAE and the latter celebrating their gold medal achievement.