ON COURT:  Geva Mentor of England competes for the ball against Chelsea Lewis of Wales during the Commonwealth Games.
ON COURT: Geva Mentor of England competes for the ball against Chelsea Lewis of Wales during the Commonwealth Games. Matt Roberts

Lightning captain chases Games glory with England

NETBALL: Veteran netballer Geva Mentor wasn't born the last time England finished a major international tournament higher than third.

The Roses finished second at the World Championships, now known as the World Cup, in 1975, but have had to settle for bronze or fourth in the 10 world championships and five Commonwealth Games since.

"It's long overdue that there is some success," Mentor said.

Mentor, who captained Sunshine Coast Lightning to the inaugural Suncorp Super Netball title last year, is one of the veterans of the Roses' lineup.

The Roses will face Jamaica at the Gold Coast on Saturday, with a place in the gold medal match on the line.

They avoided a clash with Australia after they beat No.2-ranked New Zealand, who suffered a shock loss to Malawi earlier in the tournament, for the first time at a Commonwealth Games.

Mentor is playing at her fifth Games, having won bronze at Melbourne in 2006 and Delhi in 2010, and while she hasn't considered the Roses' 43-year drought she said she believed the priority was ensuring her newest team-mates remained calm.

"(Jamaica) won't be happy with their performance (against Australia), and we know they've got some firepower," Mentor said.

"They'll have that fire. This is an opportunity to shoot through to the gold medal match.

"I think controlling the nerves of the younger players will be a major focus. The biggest challenge will be playing this match with so much expectation."

A win will provide England an opportunity to face either Australia or New Zealand for their first major international championship.

The game starts at 3pm.


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