Eleanor Caldwell helps England into Commonwealth Games netball semis with perfect record

Blackpool's Eleanor Cardwell continued her rich vein of goalscoring form as the England netball team completed a clean sweep of group victories at the Commonwealth Games to proceed to Saturday's semi-finals as Pool A winners.

By Andy Moore
Friday, 5th August 2022, 8:00 am

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A flying start for Eleanor Cardwell of Blackpool in Commonwealth Games netball

The 54-44 victory over world champions New Zealand in Birmingham made it five wins out of five for an England side determined to defend the title they clinched in dramatic style four years ago.

Saturday afternoon's semi is a repeat of the 2018 final against Australia, who England stunned on the Gold Coast.

Eleanor Cardwell (far right) in action for England against New Zealand

The 27-year-old Cardwell was not involved in those Games but has been an ever-present for Jess Thirlby's England side in this tournament at the National Exhibition Centre.

Cardwell started at goal shooter, helping England to establish a 15-8 lead after the first quarter, though their lead had been reduced to one by half-time.

Eleanor and England finished strongly, one of her goals bringing head coach Thirlby to her feet. The team boss said: “This group like making history and we've got a big task.”

Australia lost their final group game to Jamaica, who took top spot in Pool B and so will face New Zealand in the other semi-final.

England and New Zealand had already qualified for the last-four ahead of their Thursday showdown, both having beaten Malawi, Northern Ireland, Trinidad and Tobago and Uganda.

Former Blackpool Netball Club player Cardwell has left Superleague champions Manchester Thunder to play for Australian club Adelaide Thunderbirds next season.