Blackpool sharp shooter Eleanor Cardwell helps England netball team to start new era with triumph in South Africa

England goal shooter Eleanor Cardwell in action for Manchester Thunder  Picture: GETTY IMAGES
England goal shooter Eleanor Cardwell in action for Manchester Thunder Picture: GETTY IMAGES
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Eleanor Cardwell of Blackpool helped the England netball team to start a new era on a highly successful note in South Africa.

Eleanor Cardwell of Blackpool helped the England netball team to start a new era on a highly successful note in South Africa.

The England Roses triumphed in the Test series 2-1 and 25-year-old goal shooter Cardwell was in the starting team as they won the first two games in Cape Town 63-58 (after extra-time) and 59-53 to secure the series.

Manchester Thunder player Cardwell did not start the final match as South Africa gained a consolation win 54-48 in the third Test in successive days.

These were the first competitive matches for England since Jess Thirlby replaced Tracey Neville as head coach.

Blackpool-born Cardwell developed her skills at St Mary’s Catholic High School and with Blackpool Netball Club before first joining Superleague club Manchester Thunder in 2012.

She returned to the club this year, following two seasons with Worcester-based Severn Stars.

Cardwell helped Manchester to win the Superleague title for the third time in 2019 and she has signed up for their title defence next year.

Eleanor started as a goalkeeper and defender before developing as one of the country’s top shooters.

The England squad in South Africa was much changed from the one which claimed bronze at the World Cup in Liverpool over the summer.

And Cardwell will be hoping to keep her place for the Vitality Nations Cup next month.

Head coach Thirlby told Sky Sports: “The squad will take huge confidence from being able to arrive on an international stage, away from home and get a win.

“To have had a broader base of players out here that achieved that is incredible. With all due respect to those that aren’t with us or who are taking rests, it’s actually a great thing because these guys know that they have done it without some of those players.”