Australian netball coach Lisa Alexander said she was satisfied with her side’s performance following an exhibition match in Manchester.
The Australians continued their Commonwealth Games preparations with a hard-fought 58-52 victory over a Manchester Thunder Selection team that featured five Australians – including new recruit Chelsea Pitman – and Games training partners Erin Bell, Rebecca Bulley, Karyn Bailey and Gabi Simpson.
Australia was pushed all the way before sealing victory in the dying minutes of the match, played in front of a capacity crowd at Wright Robinson School.
“A tough game like that was exactly what we needed, practicing the things that we’ve been working on at training.
“We know now we need to go back and do a little bit more timing work in attack and that’s what we’ll do.”
Humid and stifling conditions greeted the Australians in the gymnasium as they raced out to a four-goal advantage early in the match before the hosts battled back to lead 14-13 at quarter-time.
The introduction of defender Julie Corletto at goal defence at quarter-time immediately paid dividends as the Australians settled to take a five-goal lead into half-time, leading 27-23.
Alexander cleared her bench at the main break to provide all 12 players with a run in the match against England’s reigning Superleague champions.
The Thunder had an opportunity to level the scores with six minutes remaining before the Australians capitalised on the miss and pilled on three unanswered goals to put the result beyond doubt in a match riddled by turnovers.
“We came into the match with a few targets but didn’t come anywhere near them, we were really fighting for our lives which is good practice,” Alexander said.
“We didn’t play as well as we could have in attack but there were certainly some great signs in defence, particularly Julie Corletto, I thought she played beautifully today.
The charity match against the Thunder was organised in support of the EAFA England Amputee Football Association and the Young Oncology Unit at The Christie Hospital.
The Australian Netball Team kick off their 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games campaign against Wales on Thursday 24 July at 1.30pm (10.30pm AEST). Catch all the action on Network Ten or on ABC Grandstand.
Pictures courtesy of: Bright i Photography