World number one-ranked team, Australia will play first time finalists, England in Sunday’s Netball World Cup final in Cape Town.
Australia beat Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls 57-54 in a hotly contested semi-final at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. England’s Roses had earlier beaten defending champions, New Zealand, 46-40 in another semi-final to reach a Netball World Cup final for the first time.
The first quarter between Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls and Australia’s Diamonds was a tight affair. The sides were neck-and-neck throughout the quarter. Goal shooter, Jhanielle Fowler, levelled the score for the Sunshine Girls at 14-all just moments before the end of the quarter.
The teams were level at 29-all at half-time after another evenly matched quarter in which each scored 15 goals. Australia led 42-40 at the end of a hard-fought third quarter in which they outscored Jamaica by 13 goals to 11. The Diamonds showed why they are ranked number one in the world by eventually winning.
England vs New Zealand
Not much separated the England and New Zealand in the opening quarter. Silver Ferns’ goal attack, Ameliaranne Ekenasio scored moments before the end of the quarter with the teams going to the break level at 9-all. The second and third quarter were also tight with both teams cautious with the ball.
The teams were tied on 32-all at the end of the third quarter after both had scored 23 goals in the second and third quarter.
England came back much stronger in the fourth quarter. The Roses scored three unanswered goals to take a 35-32 lead. But the Silver Ferns fought their way back into the contest to level the match at 39-all with over six minutes still to play. However, the Roses upped the ante scoring five successive goals to lead 45-40. They added another goal to seal a 46-40 victory and reach their first Netball World Cup final.