England Roses have been crowned Commonwealth Games champions for the first time in their history, after beating host nation Australia 52-51 in the gold medal final.
The Roses were playing in their first ever Commonwealths final, having beaten Jamaica with a last-second goal in Saturday’s semi-final, and there was late, late drama again as Helen Housby scored with no time left on the clock to win it for England.
It was also the first time in 5 years that England had beaten the Diamonds, the number one ranked team in world netball.
Head coach Tracey Neville told BBC Sport: “It’s my dream come true. The girls worked so hard over the last international phase. They were up against the world number one – they’re renowned and we’ve not beaten them once in the whole cycle I have been here. To beat at that time is stupendous. I am just so really really proud.”
Both teams came into the match unbeaten in their six games to reach the final – Australia topped Pool A, with 5 wins out of 5, and England won Pool B with a 100% record.
England’s final group game, beating New Zealand, ensured they avoided the Diamonds and the Silver Ferns in the semi-finals. That set up a tough semi against Jamaica, and it was Jo Harten’s last-second goal in the semis that put the Roses through to what looked a very steep task against the hosts in the gold-medal match.
This time though it was Housby who was the last-gasp hero, scoring the goal that wrote these Roses players’ names into the nation’s sporting history.
Full report to follow…
photos Janos Schmidt