Mavericks star Atkinson set to reach 100 caps for England

PUBLISHED: 16:54 24 February 2009 | UPDATED: 21:46 26 October 2009

Karen Atkinson in action for Mavericks

Karen Atkinson in action for Mavericks

ENGLAND and Mavericks star Karen Atkinson could have 100 international caps by the end of the week, writes Mark Hemmings. The influential centre/wing attack played the full game on Sunday at the O2 Arena as England defeated Jamaica 67-54 in their first of

Karen Atkinson

ENGLAND and Mavericks star Karen Atkinson could have 100 international caps by the end of the week, writes Mark Hemmings.

The influential centre/wing attack played the full game on Sunday at the O2 Arena as England defeated Jamaica 67-54 in their first of a three test series.

That game was Atkinson's 98th international appearance.

She is set to make her 99th in the second test in Coventry tonight (Tuesday).

The third in Nottingham on Thursday could see the Mavericks player reach the magnificent 100 cap landmark.

Following Sunday's success, Atkinson said: "Hopefully and fingers crossed, because you never know if you will play in every test match, I'll get some court time in the next two games and it will be 100 caps.

"I have my family coming down to the Nottingham game on Thursday just in case, so that would be a special occasion."

Asked what it would mean to her to reach a century of England caps, she said: "It just would be an amazing achievement.

"If you speak to my family none of us ever expected that I'd ever get a cap.

"You never presume somebody will be selected for England and then be able to play for the senior team so that was pretty special.

"Then to still being around to make it 100 caps I'm sure some of my family can't believe it, but they will believe it when they see it on Thursday hopefully."

In the first encounter between the hosts and the Sunshine Girls, they matched each other goal-for-goal for the first few minutes.

However, England then powered ahead to take a 21-9 first quarter lead. This dominance continued into the second period.

They extended the advantage to 38-19 at half-time. In the remaining two quarters Jamaica came back into it, but the home nation still led 52-35 in the third and 67-54 at the final whistle.

Co-captain Atkinson, who shares the duty with Brunel Hurricanes' Sonia Mkoloma, said of the match: "We were really happy with the start in particular, the first few minutes it went goal for goal which we expected and thought it would be like that for the rest of the game.

"Then we just put the foot on the pedal and took some really good turnovers.

"We took the foot off the pedal in the third and fourth quarters and let them back into it so we will be re-assessing that.

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