Diamonds surge to Quad netball title
Murray Wenzel |
The Diamonds have successfully defended their Quad Series netball title, turning the tables on England in the final thanks to a devastating last quarter to win 58-46.
Australia coughed up a six-goal lead to draw with the Roses a day earlier, while they gave up a late four-goal advantage in a monumental 2018 Commonwealth Games gold-medal match upset loss to them.
But in London on Thursday (AEDT) it was the Roses who wilted in a 18-5 final quarter, Australia making a statement in their last Test before July’s Commonwealth Games in nearby Birmingham.
The victory also ensured Australia kept some silverware in their cupboard after losing the World Cup and Constellation Cup trophies to New Zealand in 2019.
Australia led 4-1 but England controlled the contest from there, establishing a 14-12 quarter-time lead and maintaining that buffer into the main break.
With England untroubled entering their attacking circle, it was hard to see how the Diamonds could make up ground.
But the injection of Sarah Klau in defence worked wonders, two early intercepts ruffling feathers and player of the match and the tournament Gretel Bueta making no mistake at the other end.
Bueta missed just one goal in the final and shot at 96 per cent for the series as Australia won their sixth Quad Series title out of a possible seven.
“It was so tight throughout the whole game, we had to be really comfortable in those goal-for-goal moments until you find your opportunity,” Stacey Marinkovich said.
“It’s been a tremendous opportunity to play against all the nations here .. our focus was to improve and I think we really did that.”
England coach Jess Thirlby lamented her side’s inability to match Australia’s final-quarter pressure.
“They went up a gear and we just fell apart a little bit,” she said.AAP