Friday 16 November
AUSTRALIA DEFEAT ENGLAND 51-33
Australia produced a masterful performance on their way to the final after subduing England 51-33 in the New World Netball World Championships in Auckland tonight.
Past masters Australia absorbed all early the pressure before delivering the killer blow to extinguish a previously upbeat England.
England got rid their early nerves to compete on level terms in a combative and bruising first quarter.
Julie Prendergast (Australia) & Karen Atkinson (England) hunting the ball in the semi-final won by Australia.
Photo By: Michael Bradley
Unfazed by Australia’s daunting record, England did not take a backward step as the extra long reaches of in-circle defenders Geva Mentor and Sonia Mkoloma sent an early warning to shooters Catherine Cox and Sharelle McMahon that they would not have things all their own way.
England scored five straight goals with a storming finish to the quarter as Australia took a slim 11-10 advantage to the break.
The England defenders were to the fore again on the resumption, as Cox and McMahon faltered under the hoop, the pair going on to miss a rash of shots.
England, who talked up their title chances coming into the championships, were unable to capitalise. Their hard-earned extra possession was frittered away through basic errors, poor option-taking and missed goals of their own.
It was just the sniff Australia needed as captain Liz Ellis and her defensive partner Mo’onia Gerrard turned up the heat on England shooters Louisa Brownfield and Pamela Cookey.
Fortunes changed as England’s shooters were reduced to just eight shots at goal in the second quarter while Cox and McMahon re-discovered their touch to give Australia a healthy nine-goal buffer at half-time, on 25-16.
England regained some parity in the third quarter but it was small consolation when a golden opportunity had gone begging earlier. With a 36-25 lead heading into the home straight, Australia were not going to release their grip.
Defender Ellis and mid-courter Laura von Bertouch were standout performers for Australia tonight.
“They certainly made us work for it but we were prepared to stick to our guns and keep up the pressure,” Australia coach Norma Plummer said.
“I think the pressure overall just won out and we had some outstanding kids out on that court tonight.
photos Janos Schmidt