England beat Australia to claim historic Commonwealth Games gold medal
Roses sink Diamonds for first time since 2013 to complete seven wins from their seven games and claim gold on the Gold Coast
By Paul Prenderville
Last Updated: 27/04/18 7:38pm
England won their first major netball world title, beating Australia thanks to Helen Housby's last-second goal that won them Commonwealth Games gold.
In the first Games final not to feature both New Zealand and Australia, Tracey Neville's team stunned the hosts and defending champions to claim a memorable and historic victory - just their sixth over Australia and first in a major tournament
Having matched the Diamonds throughout the first half to go in level at the break, England lost ground in the third quarter before falling to their biggest deficit of the match in the fourth quarter.
However trailing 40-36 in the final quarter, the Roses found the answers just as they had done in a thrilling semi-final victory over Jamaica on Saturday morning when they overturned a six-goal half-time deficit.
Words cant describe this feeling...WE ARE COMMONWEALTH CHAMPIONS!!!! Absolutely amazing... history has been made twice in 2 days 🎉🎉🎉🥇🌹 @ Coomera Sports Complex— Kadeen Corbin (@Kadeen_Corbin) April 15, 2018
On that occasion, it was Jo Harten who scored in the last second and unbelievably the gold came down to the last play. With the teams level at 51-51, Housby kept her cool to sink the winner and trigger emotional and memorable scenes.
England's last major final had been defeat to the Aussies in the 1975 World Cup, but they made overdue amends to complete a brilliant week with a seventh, and most significant victory, of a Games that was two years in the planning.
2018 Commonwealth Games - Netball Medals
"It's my dream come true," an emotional Neville told the BBC.
"The girls have worked so hard over the last international phase.
"They [Australia] are the renowned, world number ones and to beat them at that time, I'm really, really proud - the feeling of that is amazing."
Netball at the Commonwealth Games
Earlier in the day, Jamaica beat New Zealand to claim the bronze medal, completing a real shake-up to the world order - for the first time ever only one of Australia and New Zealand, the world's top two ranked nations, have medalled at the Games.
As for the match action, it was, fittingly for the gold medal contest, the game of the tournament. With little in the way of early errors it was the attacking players who ensured there was little to choose between the teams
Such is the Aussie way they began to apply the pressure after the break where the teams had been level at 25-25. Riding out an early England flourish, the hosts opened up clear water for the first during the third quarter with England doing very little wrong.
That advantage reached its highest point in the fourth quarter, with the Diamonds four in front and keeping England at arm's length, until with just over seven minutes left and trailing by three, Serena Guthrie pounced on an Aussie turnover.
Harten and Housby closed the Roses to within one before a barely believable unforced error, an Aussie centre pass taken from outside the centre circle, gave England the chance to level.
They took it and went on to lead through Housby with just under five minutes remaining before the drama continued
With 90 seconds remaining, the usually unflappable Stephanie Wood missed under the posts for Australia and that was matched by Harten's agonising attempt, which rolled all the way around before dropping out.
Wood made amends to level but with 15 seconds remaining the ball was in England hands, Housby missed but with contact called, the Cumbrian-born forward was given another chance that she took to stun the hosts and send the Roses fans, family, staff and players into raptures.
2018 Commonwealth Games - Classification matches
|Fifth Place Match||South Africa 53-42 Uganda|
|Seventh Place Match||Malawi 60-52 Northern Ireland|
|Ninth Place Match||Scotland 50-48 Barbados (OT)|
|11th Place Match||Wales 81-32 Fiji|
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