Netball World Cup: Northern Ireland beat Barbados in final group game

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Venue: Liverpool Dates: 12-21 July
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and app from 15 July; Follow daily live text commentaries online. Full details.

Northern Ireland won a tight contest against Barbados by three goals to go through to a play-off for ninth place at the Netball World Cup.

The Warriors beat the Bajan Gems 46-43 in Liverpool to finish fifth in Group F with what was their second win in six matches in the competition.

Emma Magee scored 23 goals and Noleen Armstrong claimed 18 goals from 20 attempts for Dan Ryan’s side.

Northern Ireland came into the World Cup as the eighth-ranked team.

The ninth and 10th place play-off will take place on Saturday, with Northern Ireland’s opposition to be decided later on Thursday.

Barbados, who had never lost to Northern Ireland before, will now take part in the 11th and 12th place play-off.

Shonica Wharton and Latonia Blackman scored 24 and 19 goals respectively for them, with Wharton only missing with two attempts and Blackman off target once.

Northern Ireland"s Niamh Cooper challenges Damisha Croney of Barbados during Thursday's win

Barbados led 13-12 at the end of a feisty opening quarter during which Northern Ireland never held a lead larger than one goal.

The Warriors were guilty of trying to bring the ball out from the back too quickly but, with captain Caroline O’Hanlon’s influence increasing, they went into the interval at 23-all.

The platform for their win was built in the third quarter, when they showed more patience in possession to go into the fourth quarter 35-31 ahead.

“It was a really ugly game and quite a scrappy performance,” said Northern Ireland head coach Ryan.

“We struggled to get in the game early but we stepped up at a couple of crucial moments. When we had to turn it on, we did. I’m happy for the win.

“We were going through cruise control and you can’t afford to do that in this competition. We need to be much better in our play-off match, but we are in there and that’s what counts.”

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame this summer to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women’s sport available to watch across the BBC this summer, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women’s sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.

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