Games

England to face Australia in the ultimate Netball showdown

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Helen Housby reacts after England secured a 46-40 victory and place in the final.—Gallo Images
Helen Housby reacts after England secured a 46-40 victory and place in the final.—Gallo Images

England has achieved a remarkable milestone by securing a spot in the Netball World Cup final for the first time, defeating reigning champions New Zealand in a nail-biting 46-40 victory. The intense match showcased both teams’ determination and skill as they battled fiercely on the court.

From the very beginning, it was evident that nerves were running high, with both England and New Zealand struggling to gain an upper hand. The tight defence by Geva Mentor for England and the well-executed game plan by New Zealand kept the scores close, resulting in a 9-9 tie after the first quarter.

As the momentum swung back and forth, the game reached a critical point during the third quarter when New Zealand took the lead with a timely interception, leaving England determined to mount a comeback. A remarkable interception by Jade Clarke set up a crucial goal by Housby, levelling the scores to 32-32 with one quarter to go.

The final quarter witnessed England’s swift action as Imogen Allison returned to the centre, and Mentor’s impressive interception thwarted New Zealand’s attempts to score. However, the reigning champions didn’t back down and equalised the scores at 40 apiece with just five minutes left on the clock.

With the pressure mounting, England rose to the occasion with a stunning interception by Fran Williams, securing a two-goal lead. Cardwell extended the lead to three, and Housby added two more goals, leaving the crowd on the edge of their seats.

As the final minute approached, England regained possession, and Cardwell’s decisive goal sealed the victory, with the bench erupting in cheers. This triumph marks a momentous achievement for England, and they will now face Australia in the Netball World Cup final, promising a thrilling showdown.

Co-captain Layla Guscoth expressed the team’s resilience amid criticism and their immense gratitude for the opportunity to play in the World Cup final. Fran Williams emphasised the team’s unity and strategic approach, highlighting the privilege of making an impact during critical moments in the game.

The Netball World Cup has been a journey of determination and skill, and England’s historic victory sets the stage for an electrifying final match against Australia. The world will be eagerly awaiting the ultimate netball showdown to witness the crowning of the new champion.

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