Europe Open Championships: England beat Wales to retain title

Sasha Corbin
World number three side England were the highest-ranked team in the tournament

England retained their Europe Open Championships title with a 72-50 victory over hosts Wales.

England, who beat Scotland, Northern Ireland and Fiji earlier in the tournament, maintained their 100% record with a comprehensive win on the final day in Cardiff.

Wales struggled against England's relentless defence as Natalie Haythornthwaite dominated their attack.

Northern Ireland narrowly beat Scotland 46-45 in the silver medal match.

Goal shooter Lisa Bowman netted in the dying seconds with her side down to six players to seal second place and relegate Scotland to the bronze medal.

But England, who sent a relatively inexperienced squad to the tournament, defended the title they won in Newcastle last year in style.

Led by captain Sasha Corbin, they handed debuts to six players across the weekend - Josie Huckle, Vicki Oyesola, Gabby Marshall, George Fisher, Summer Artman and Sophie Drakeford-Lewis.

England now play a three-match series against Malawi in November before the four home nations compete at the Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast in April 2018.

Wales captain Suzy Drane told BBC Radio Wales:

"We've got a lot of fresh blood coming through and we're reuniting some of the girls that are coming back in from previous times.

"So we've got a lots to take from the England game and we're very-much focusing on us, especially after the three games we've played in the tournament.

"The bottom line is we need to look at our play and make sure we play our game better for longer."

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