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England sweep Diamonds with victory in final Test
The Australian Diamonds have suffered a 3-0 series whitewash at the hands of England after going down 58-51 in the final Test at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham on Saturday.
For the second consecutive game, the Australians lead at the end of the first and second quarters before England bounced back in the second half to claim victory.
Australia’s April Letton was handed her international debut, starting at goal keeper alongside Rebecca Bulley in the defensive circle, becoming the 160th Diamond, and was immediately influential.
The defensive pairing had England under pressure as their positional play in front of the shooters created plenty of turnovers as England forced passes into Jo Harten and Pamela Cookey.
At the other end, the Diamonds didn’t have such trouble with Kimberley Ravaillion and Madison Browne working their way to the circle edge to feed acting-captain Catherine Cox and Erin Bell as the Australians took a 15-11 lead into quarter-time.
The visitors had an eight-goal advantage shortly after the first break, leading 24-16, before England put a tentative start behind them as they clawed back the scores with nine consecutive goals to level the game, 24-24, with three minutes left in the half.
After having their lead disappear, Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander brought on Susan Pratley at goal attack while Browne made way for Bell at wing attack. Browne was reintroduced just minutes later as she replaced Ravaillion at centre.
England’s introduction of Kadeen Corbin at goal shooter next to Cookey provided them with more movement in the circle as the hosts pulled away to a five-goal lead at three-quarter time, leading 43-38.
The ball didn’t flow as freely through the mid-court for the Australians after the break and were guilty of conceding possession to often in their transition forward.
Looking to overcome a 43-38 three-quarter time deficit, the Diamonds were patient in attack as they scored the first four goals to cut the margin to two-goals before the hosts again struck back.
England shooters Corbin and Cookey held their nerve in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach as England hung on to claim a series clean sweep over Australia.