Having been named Netball Superleague Player of the Season last weekend, Barrowford’s Natalie Haythornthwaite earned her first England cap on Wednesday night.
The 22-year-old, who plays goal attack and wing attack, linked up with the England squad on Monday for the first of the three Test series against Trinidad and Tobago in Bath.
And she got the nod from new coach Tracey Neville in her first game in charge, at wing attack, as England earned a 64-42 victory.
England took charge with early intercepts, as they raced into a 10-4 lead, their Carribbean visitors forced back by slick interplay.
Looking composed in her first senior international Natalie combined well in the final third with her attacking partners, repeatedly feeding captain Pamela Cookey – on her 99th appearance – and goal shooter Helen Housby. as England finished the first quarter 19-11 ahead.
Their advantage stretched out to 36-24 at the interval.
Neville freshened up her side at half-time, and England powered 47-31 ahead at the end of the third quarter.
In the final quarter, Trinidad tried to mount a late fightback, but England sealed victory by 18, and can now seal a series win in tomorrow night’s second game at the Copper Box.
Natalie will hope to win a second cap, with the game live from 5 p.m. on Sky Sports 5.
The series comes to a close at Liverpool’s Echo Arena on Monday night, starting at 7-15 p.m.
Natalie, a former Fisher-More and Nelson and Colne College student, previously captained the Great Britain squad to gold at the World University Games in Cape Town, and led the England Under 21 team, before being named in the full England squad of 15 for the three-match International Series against Australia in January 2013, without getting on the court.