The second match of the Holden Netball Test Series proved to be disappointing for the England Squad when they suffered a 43-33 loss against Australia’s Diamonds in Adelaide today.
Team changes were crucial when goal shooter, Rachel Dunn injured her ankle early in the game and didn’t return after the first quarter. Louise Brownfield changed to goal shooter and Tamsin Greenway came on as goal attack but was taken off at half time. Joanne Harten played goal attack and Louisa Brownfield stayed on as goal shooter. Centre Jade Clarke went off for the last quarter and Sara Bayman, wing defence came on.
Joanne Harten played well in her first appearance on tour as she proved to be one of the strongest shooters. Her skills stood up under pressure of the fourth quarter.
The Diamonds started to get on top of the English squad in the early stages of the second quarter, extending their lead to seven goals.
England’s spirits were briefly lifted when Sonia Mkoloma and Geva Mentor used their height advantage to capitalise on the missed opportunities of the Diamonds shooters.
By the first quarter England was down 12-8 goals, 20-15 by half time and 32-26 by the third quarter, finishing 43-33 down.
Crucial opportunities were available to the England squad throughout but were missed in the last quarter.
The England shooters must now learn how to move more effectively away from the very tight Australian defence without expecting the umpires to protect them before they head to New Zealand.
Despite the disappointing loss, the England squad is positive and determined to fight harder. The arrival of Pamela Cookey for the second leg of the tour promises to encourage the squad and guarantee a different attack approach for the later matches.
England coach, Sue Hawkins said she was pleased with aspects of her developing team but was aware of the areas that need improving.
“I was pleased with our defensive end and thought they had stepped up to make the Diamonds earn every goal. What we take away from this series is that we must be tougher and stronger. Our game is about ball speed and letting it go and we need confidence about what we can do,” said Sue.
England 8 Australia 12
England 15 Australia 20
England 26 Australia 32
England 33 Australia 43
Louisa Brownfield 19/28 - 67%
Rachel Dunn 4/6 – 66%
Tamzin Greenway 0/4 – 0%
Joanne Harten 10/15 – 66%
AUSTRALIA 43/33 =72%
ENGLAND 33/43 =76%
photos Janos Schmidt