England beat Jamaica to win Fast5 International World Series
By Sky Sports Netball
Last Updated: 30/10/17 6:07pm
England produced a brilliant display to beat Jamaica and claim the title at the Fast5 International World Series.
Having secured a top-two finish in the standings behind Jamaica, who won all five of the group games, the two met in Sunday's final with Australia and defending champions New Zealand left to battle it out for 3rd and 4th place.
And it was Tracey Neville's team who came out on top, edging a pulsating final 34-29 to claim the Fast5 World Series for the second time and first since 2011 when they beat the Silver Ferns in Liverpool.
Victory in Melbourne will give the Roses a huge amount of belief ahead on the Commonwealth Games next year when they will take on the best of the world again, but in the seven-a-side version of the game.
After a faultless day one where the Roses won all three of their group games, they returned on Sunday to brilliantly beat Australia and secure their place in the final four.
Defeat in their final group game against the Sunshine Girls meant they went into the final on the back of their only defeat of the tournament - and in a keenly contested affair they kept themselves in contention throughout before seizing the initiative at the end of the match.
Helen Housby put the Roses 30-29 in front with minutes remaining and they never gave up that lead as they closed out the win and a memorable weekend in Australia.
Serena Guthrie was England's star performer and claimed the Player of the Tournament honours but Rachel Dunn's return to the international arena was worthy of special praise in what was an all-round team effort.
"This is absolutely unbelievable," said captain Ama Agbeze.
"In modern netball, I don't think England has ever won a gold medal so, this is actually gold to us.
When asked about the key to victory, Agbeze said: "Just having a laugh always off the court, I think just being light-hearted and that's pretty much what we've done now. We've been able to be ourselves."
England Fast5 Squad: Ama Agbeze (Captain), Joanne Harten (Vice-Captain), Beth Cobden, Rachel Dunn, Serena Guthrie, Natalie Haythornthwaite, Helen Housby, Gabriella Marshall, Geva Mentor, Natalie Panagarry
England are back in action in a few weeks when they take on Malawi in a three match International Series starting on November 24 - you can follow all the matches on Sky Sports