Diamonds persevere and counteract a strong Roses outfit

A HIGH pressured game proved to be as good as expected as both Australia and England pulled out all the stops to push each other to the limit. The Australian Diamonds came out victorious by two goals to defeat the England Roses 59-61.

England’s smothering defence was felt early, forcing the Australians to pass backwards and get a few hands to the ball in the meantime. The Roses drew first blood with Helen Housby (16 goals, 19 feeds) getting a tip on the transverse line and Eleanor Cardwell (43 goals and two rebounds) finishing her work off at the post.

But the Aussies were able to bounce back quickly scoring off England’s centre pass right afterwards.

Sophie Garbin was solid in her time out on court slotting 26 goals playing against a powerful Razia Quashie. Her elevation matched Garbin’s perfectly, making it a tough game for both playing into each others strengths.

Quashie was also the Roses go to ball winner this outing with four gains, not being afraid to look outside of the circle. Her partnership with Fran Williams (two gains and two goal assists) was hard to stop as Williams was given space to play her game style. Bodying up on a shooter then leading out on the 45 degree angle and collect with two hands going through the line of the ball.

The Diamonds gradually scored two goals at a time utilising their ball speed in the shooting circle to take a five goal lead into the first break.

The second term was full of hustle from both nations.

Housby stepped up her game in both attack and shooting, getting the Roses back in the contest and preventing the Diamonds to run away with their already convincing lead.

A strong intercept from Quashie sparked England into playing its game style in attack using front options and their ball speed to good use.

All of a sudden, England scored four goals in a row and pegged the lead back to five. The remainder of the half continued goal for goal, seeing Australia maintain their five goal lead into half time, 28 – 33.

The Roses midcourt really stepped up in attack, directing play and getting the ball on circle edge majority of the time. It wasn’t necessary though as balls were flying into Cardwell from half way down the court where she was able to capitalise.

In the blink of an eye, England scored four goals in a row to peg back the deficit to just two off the hand of some amazing defensive work from Quashie.

England took the lead half way through the third term and didn’t look like dropping it anytime soon.

Two more three goals runs for the Roses shifted the momentum and boosted their confidence to a game high to challenge the Diamonds and cause a flurry of changes.

The fight back from the Roses in the third term was outstanding. A 17 – 10 quarter saw them overtake the lead by two goals, forcing the Diamonds to pull out all the stops in the fourth.

Whenever the Diamonds attack would look shaky and uncertain, Paige Hadley (26 feeds, 16 goal assists and 11 second phase receives) stepped up and was the calm head in a high pressure moment of the game.

It was a very clean fourth term from both sides with only one general play turnover per nation, impressive to any standard.

Australia had stability in its attack end in the fourth now having the combination of Cara Koenen (12 goals and one rebound) and Kiera Austin (12 goals) time to gel. The overall attack seemed to flow better presenting nice and strong to the ball front on while backing in the high pass into the back space.

An overall clever fourth term from the Diamonds saw them regain their lead three minutes in and they just kept on going up from there, taking the game by a tightly contested two goals, 59 – 61.

Player of the Match = Paige Hadley (AUS)

ENGLAND                       13 | 15 | 17 | 13 (59)

AUSTRALIA                  18 | 15 | 10 | 18 (61)



GS: Eleanor Cardwell
GA: Helen Housby
WA: Nat Metcalf
C: Imogen Allison
WD: Amy Carter
GD: Fran Williams
GK: Razia Quashie


GS: Sophie Garbin
GA: Sophie Dwyer
WA: Liz Watson
C: Paige Hadley
WD: Jamie-Lee Price
GD: Jo Weston
GK: Courtney Bruce

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