Diamonds sweep series for sparkly end to 2022
THE Aussie Diamonds have finished up their 2022 international calendar on a high after clean sweeping their series against England. In last night’s third and final test of the series, the Aussies started in a dominant fashion, but weathered a strong English fightback to take the win by four goals, 57-53.
AUSTRALIA 19 | 13 | 11 | 14 (57)
ENGLAND 11 | 13 | 14 | 15 (53)
Australia raced out to a two goal lead before the English pinched their first off an Australian centre pass. It was a frenetic start to the match, with intercepts and deflections galore from both sides.
Maddy Turner in particular was certainly making the most of finally getting some court time, while after missing game two due to illness Donnell Wallam was certainly making the most of her first start in the green and gold.
It was a dominant start from the Aussies, as the Diamonds lead grew to as much as nine goals. That lead to plenty of changes from the English side, but the Diamonds continued to dominate.
The Roses lifted towards the back end of the term, but the Diamonds were able to wrestle back momentum as the quarter came to an end. At quarter time the margin sat at eight in favour of the hosts.
The English had a better start to the second quarter, but the Australians regained momentum and control of the match. No matter what the English tried they just could not eat into the Aussie lead, and at half-time the margin was again eight goals in favour of the hosts.
The Australians started strongly in the third term, but as the quarter continued the English slowly worked their way back into the game. The Roses had really come to play and really lifted in the third term, as they continued to eat away at the Australian lead.
The Roses 14-11 was their biggest margin in a quarter all series, but it still was not enough to eliminate the Australian lead. As the teams turned for home, the margin sat at only five goals in the Aussie’s favour.
England continued their momentum and got the margin down even further early in the last quarter, but then the Australians settled and got the margin out to as much as eight goals.
However, the England side was certainly not going to die trying as they got the margin inside three goals with a minute to go. Despite everything the English girls through at the Aussies, the Diamonds held firm to win by four goals and sweep the series.
For the Diamonds, Wallam certainly made the most of her first starting opportunity, only missing one shot for the evening. Skipper for this series Paige Hadley also had a busy night, finishing with 26 feeds, 19 centre pass receives and 16 assists. NSW Swits teammate Maddy Turner also had a big night in just 30 minutes, picking up three gains and two intercepts.
Meanwhile for the English, the leap in Funmi Fadoju really kept her side in the match at times with a ridiculous 17 deflections, as did the hard work of Natalie Metcalf (34 feeds, 19 assists), Laura Malcolm (27 feeds, 16 assists) and Eleanor Cardwell (38 goals from 40 attempts).