After Friday’s awesome performance by England’s Netball team it was onto Sunday afternoon at Nottingham’s Trent FM Arena for the second test of the Co-operative International Series.
A revitalised and all round more dynamic performance from the Diamonds saw Australia level the series to take the teams to the O2 Arena in London for the deciding match in what promises to be a sell out crowd. Watch the full post match press conference in the video above.
Following England’s win on Friday there were high expectations going into the match, but the mood was dampened as a great shooting display from Kate Beveridge saw Australia take control and open up a ten point lead in the early exchanges.
This left England trailing 13-7 at the end of the first quarter, but England rallied in the second quarter to bring the score back to 24-23 thanks to some excellent shooting from Pamela Cookey and Jo Harten, who was replaced the unusually off form Louisa Brownfield.
For the third quarter Co-captain Karen Atkinson came on at centre while the Diamonds gave Rebecca Bulley a run at GK. There was a period of goal swapping before England snuck a turnover through Tamsin Greeway and levelled the game at 28-28.
Once again England found themselves fighting hard to stay in the game and were unable to halt the Australian attack, led by Madison Browne, and struggled to move the ball down court quickly enough to trouble the Aussies. An Diamonds time-out mid-quarter allowed Cookey and Harten to swap bibs as Medhurst had her finger strapped. They finished with Cookey as GS and Harten GA but it didn’t change the flow of goals, still trailing 39-34.
England resolved to double-mark Madison Browne but she seemed just as lively, always available for free ball from centre to give to shooters. She was deservedly the Mitre Player of the Match and ‘stoked’ to have the honour bestowed on her. The home side made several uncharacteristic handling errors and there seemed a lack of communication between the players as balls failed to go to hand and disappeared out of court. Eventually the final whistle came and Australia celebrated victory 53-48 victory.
Overall, it’s fair to say that England were always chasing the game after going behind early and allowed Australia too many turnovers at crucial times. However, England can take heart from the fact that they fought closely with Australia in all but the first quarter. It certainly sets up an interesting decider in London at the O2 Arena this Tuesday and we’ll be expecting England to come out blazing from the first centre pass.
Sue Hawkins “We’ll look at her (Madison Browne) and dissect her up and see what we can come up with”. Looking forward to Tuesday night she said “We’re going to come back fighting”.
Fighting talk indeed, and what a stunning series win it would make.