Aussies defeat England in a thriller

Australia has claimed the most dramatic of victories with a thrilling 49-48 win over England at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on Saturday.
 
After trailing at every stoppage, Australia came from behind early in the fourth quarter before shooter Caitlin Bassett scored with 10 seconds remaining to seal the gripping contest.
 
A slow start had the Australians on the back foot early and chasing the game as England raced out to a commanding 16-10 lead at quarter-time.

The introduction of Natalie Medhurst for Tegan Caldwell, who made her run on debut in the green and gold, at goal attack and defender Julie Corletto at goal defence turned the tide for the Australians in the second term.

England, with plenty of home support in the stands, saw their margin cut to within one at half-time after Australia out scored them 16-11 in the second quarter to trail 26-27 at the main break.

Lead by shooter Jo Harten and defender Geva Mentor, who finished the game with five intercepts and two deflections, England re-established a six-goal lead with five minutes remaining in the third quarter prompting Alexander to introduce Sharni Layton at wing defence.

The fierce contest reached fever pitch early in the fourth quarter as the battle intensified on court – in particular the duel between Layton and England centre Serena Guthrie with neither player willing to take a backwards step.

The Australians pegged back England’s 39-36 three-quarter time advantage and levelled the scores 42-42 with nine minutes remaining in the match to set up the exhilarating finish.

After the two sides went goal for goal for much of the fourth quarter, Australia capitalised on a miss by Harten in the dying seconds as Kim Ravaillion, celebrating her 21st birthday, found Bassett in the circle to win the game.

“I should’ve had five more (goals in the final quarter) but it was a perfect pass (by Kim Ravaillion) and right under the post,” Bassett said after the match.

Australian skipper Laura Geitz said she was proud of her side’s efforts to secure the victory under intense pressure on the court.

“We knew England were going to be strong today; I’m so proud of the girls,” Geitz said.

“It’s always a physical game when we play each other and it’s what international netball is about.”

“(The win against England) will give us a lot of confidence and build momentum. It’s probably our toughest match and knowing that we can come up with the goods late on is great for us.”
 
Australia, who won their eighth consecutive international Test, back up to play Barbados on Sunday at 11.30am (8.30pm AEST), Trinidad & Tobago on Monday and South Africa on Wednesday to conclude the round robin phase of competition.

Follow the Australian Netball Team during the Commonwealth Games online on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aussiediamonds or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aussiediamonds