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Netball: Wildcats tamed by Australians but effort commended

Caitlin Bassett, a rangy Australia internationalist, was the main thorn in Glasgow Wildcats' side, as West Coast Fever trounced them 75-21 with an exhibition of sublime skill.

In metaphoric terms, it was very much a case of women versus girls, although the contest achieved its purpose for Wildcats, a mainly youthful group who are essentially the Scotland national team squad, in terms of exposing them to what they can expect at the highest level as they prepare to try to qualify for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. That, at least, was the view of Fiona Metcalfe, the former Scotland captain who was commentating on yesterday's match for Quipu TV, which is providing live streaming of the tournament organised by Netball Scotland in conjunction with Glasgow Life.

"It was a commendable effort," she said of their hard-working performance. "They will be disappointed about the two middle quarters, where they scored two in the second and one in the third. It wasn't that they didn't have enough of the ball; they just didn't use it well enough."

Scotland's best finish at a World Championship having come almost 30 years ago – they were sixth in 1983 – their status has slipped since and they are now 14th which means they face a tough challenge simply to earn the chance to play a proper part as hosts at Glasgow 2014.

"In Scotland, we're working hard to get to a level with England and have much better structures in place now, but they [England] are trying to get up to the level of the Southern Hemisphere," she said. "The idea was to have such an elite group of teams here to give Glasgow Wildcats, in particular, the chance of facing this quality of competition, looking ahead to the 2013 World Youth Championships [also to be held at the Emirates Arena] when a lot of those players will be representing Scotland. The Wildcats have a young team with some key players who are more experienced.

"Netball is a core sport for the Commonwealth Games but Scotland has to qualify through Netball Europe and it is usually one of ourselves, Northern Ireland, who are represented here by Northern Panthers, and Wales who have a team, the Celtic Dragons, in the Super League.

"Unfortunately, we didn't get a franchise in Super League for the next four years so Denise Holland, the national coach, had to look at other opportunities and that's what this is about."

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