Aussie title defence off to the perfect start

THE Australian Diamonds have fought from behind to come away with a six-goal win over the English Roses to start their Quad Series title defence. After a slow start, the Diamonds responded to win, 61-55.

Thanks to strong midcourt pressure from the start, it was the Roses who were the first to build a lead, racing ahead to a three-goal lead. Perhaps because it was their first match together in months, the Diamonds lacked confidence early as the English solidified their lead and extended it out to as much as seven goals midway through the quarter.

The lead got out even further to as much as nine goals in the final few minutes of the term, but as the minutes ticked down the Diamonds really worked their way back into the game. England won the quarter for their second ever first quarter win against the Diamonds under coach Jess Thirlby, and held a four goal lead at the first change. But, things started to turn around for the Diamonds.

The on court personnel did not change for either side initially, but a change in mindset saw the Diamonds half the deficit in the opening five minutes of the quarter. The Aussies went on to win the quarter 17 goals to 14 and briefly levelled things up, but thanks to a goal to Eleanor Cardwell in the dying seconds it was the Roses who led at the major break.

The Roses got off to a quick start in the third term, and in a matter of minutes they had restored their quarter time lead. But as the quarter progressed, the scoring dried up for England. The introduction of Kiera Austin into the game coincided with a resurgence for the Diamonds, and suddenly the English lead was gone. Courtney Bruce in particular was an absolute star in defence as the Diamonds maintained their lead as the quarter drew to a close.

The Australians scored almost double as many goals in the third term as England did, and as the teams went into the final break, it was the Aussies who now led by seven goals. The last quarter saw the Aussie Diamonds maintain their dominance over the match play for much of the quarter, but as things progressed towards the final whistle, England staged a bit of a comeback.

England made a number of changes in the back half of the quarter and it worked as they ate away at the deficit. However they ran out of time to completely eliminate the deficit as the Diamonds prevailed by six goals.

Sophie Garbin was the attacking linchpin for the Diamonds, shooting 46 of the 61 goals, while Liz Watson was a workhorse through the middle, finishing with 41 feeds and 29 assists. Bruce also had a stellar game, finishing with four intercepts.

Meanwhile for England Cardwell only missed three shots for the game, while Helen Housby (19 feeds and 17 assists) and Natalie Metcalf (17 feeds, 10 assists) who drove a lot of the feed into the English circle. Funmi Fadoju also had a stellar game, picking up four intercepts.

AUSTRALIA         14 | 17 | 17 | 13 (61)
           18 | 14 | 9 | 14 (55)



GS: Sophie Garbin
GA: Steph Wood
WA: Liz Watson
C: Paige Hadley
WD: Jamie-Lee Price
GD: Sunday Aryang
GK: Courtney Bruce


GS: Eleanor Cardwell
GA: Helen Housby
WA: Natalie Metcalf
C: Jade Clarke
WD: Imogen Alliosn
GD: Layla Guscoth
GK: Funmi Fadoju

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments