29 Nov 2011

Legend Info : England crowned World Netball Series Champions

England have become World Netball Series Champions following a sensational 33 – 26 victory over New Zealand. Having finished fourth in the table, Anna Mayes’ side were, at least on paper, the outsiders for the title. However, a convincing win over Australia saw them breeze into the final and upset the odds to allow Jade Clarke to lift the trophy on behalf of her side.

The day started in a dramatic fashion as England played Australia in the first semi-final. Nerves were evident all round early in the encounter but the real turning point was the Powerplay in the third quarter. The hosts notoriously struggle in these quarters when shots are worth double points, but today they were phenomenal. They raced into a lead which was virtually impossible to overcome and the Diamonds would fall at the hands of their hosts for the second consecutive year, bowing out with a 27 – 17 loss.

The second semi-final saw Jamaica tackle New Zealand. The Sunshine Girls had already beaten their opponents in the group stage and were confident that with the attacking threat of Jhaniele Fowler in their line-up, that could repeat that success. The Powerplay proved crucial once more as Jamaica entered it in the lead and came out trailing. A tight encounter was expected and produced as neither side dominated with the ball, scores were continuously traded and the result only become clear in the dying seconds. It was to be Wai Taumaunu’s troops who progressed with a 30 – 29 win.

South Africa then faced Fiji in a battle for fifth place as the final standings were now to be sorted. The pacific islanders had been growing in stature throughout the tournament and were the crowd’s second team as they urged them forward in all four quarters, ultimately the Proteas class shone through and the experience of last year’s tournament as they recorded a 24 – 19 victory. South Africa were to finish 5th, with Fiji collecting the wooden spoon in 6th.

A match in which no team wants to be a part of took place next as the loser’s from the semi-finals clashed to decide who had bragging rights for third place. It was a repeat of last year but with a different outcome. On that occasion Jamaica had shocked Australia, this time round the Diamonds took revenge.  Lucy Alexander’s team were comfortable throughout the encounter and won at somewhat of a canter, 32-24.

The stage was then set for the big Final between England and the Silver Ferns. The fans were in fantastic voice to welcome the players and they were on hand to witness an incredible game of Fast Net. An incredibly tight first half saw the visitors leading by one, the Powerplay was taken by both coaches in the third and thee game swung in England’s favour. Accurate shooting, powerful defending and smooth passing pushed the hosts into a strong lead heading into the final six minutes. Composure was required and managed as New Zealand chased the game, forced into two point attempts by the scoreboard pressure. The ball was staying out and England were able to play the clock and claim a historic win.

Final results :

  1. England
  2. New Zealand
  3. Australia
  4. Jamaica
  5. South Africa
  6. Fiji

Credit : http://www.englandnetball.co.uk/

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