The hosts stamped their authority on the match from the start, racing to a 4-0 lead and, with Great Britain Olympic captain Lynne Beattie demonstrating some intelligent hitting, they secured the first set with a 25-18. It was a similar story in the second set, Scotland establishing a 7-0 lead and leading by 8-1 at the first technical time-out. The Scots were solid in the block and inventive in attack. As Malta struggled to keep up with the pace, Scotland ran away with the set at 25-10. Daniela Bonnici gave Malta a glimmer of hope by scoring the first point of the third set, but there was little chance of them turning the tide. It was 8-3 at the first technical time-out and an explosive hit from Beattie down the line took it to 18-12. There was no way back for Malta and Scotland took the set by 25-19 on a serving error.
Lynne Beattie tallied up 15 points for the winners, followed by teammate Jennifer Thom with 12. Daniela Maria Bonnici was Malta’s best scorer with 7 points.
Craig Faill, head coach of Scotland: “The first match is always difficult and you have to get that momentum or you are always chasing the game. I was confident that if we played to our systems then we could win. A lot of things we have been working on have come through.”
Jennifer Thom, captain of Scotland: “It was a really good start for us as it usually takes us a couple of matches to get into our stride. A lot of the girls came on and did a good job. Everyone stepped up to the mark.”
Tibor Strajanek head coach of Malta: “There was not a lot of time for my players to recover after the first match, but we tried. Scotland played very well and did not give us a chance.”