New Zealand lifted their fifth Netball World Cup title on Sunday night after a 52-51 win over Australia.
The scene was set. Both sides only managed two-point wins in their semi-finals. The Australasian pair were two of only three countries to ever lift the World Cup. Experience on both sides, it was all or nothing in Liverpool.
In the first fifteen minutes there was nothing to separate either side. Both teams seemed almost calm despite the occasion. End-to-end attack and solid defence were the themes of the opening quarter; the score 10-10.
The next fifteen saw a change of pace and an increase in quick goals from both sides. Despite Australia’s Steph Wood finding the target a couple of times in the quarter, it was Maria Folau who wrapped up a three-point lead with a score just before the break. The score going into half-time was 28-25 to the Silver Ferns.
Cue the final half an hour of the Netball World Cup 2019. With thirty minutes to play, the Ferns quickly took their lead to five in five minutes.
The Aussie Diamonds had no answer with 9 minutes to go in the third quarter; the score 33-27. Folau and Ameliaranne Ekenasio got the better of their opposites for the first ten minutes. But the Aussies were not backing down; they managed to cut the New Zealand lead to just four points.
Fifteen minutes to go, all to play for between the Australasian counter-parts. Both sides certainly knew that it was now or never. Australia quickly decreased the Ferns’ lead to one with just over five minutes to play. But unfortunately for the Diamonds, the New Zealand defence and attack were too solid in the dying minutes.
The Silver Ferns lifted their fifth World Cup; the final score, 52-51.
ENGLAND ROSES DEFEAT PROTEAS
It was just before New Zealand were crowned World Champions where the England Roses made sure of third place on their home-ground. The Proteas were no match for the English who cruised to a 58-42 victory.
The first quarter went as expected; high speed, high pressure and high intensity. An early miss for South Africa saw the English capitalise. A few mistakes here and there allowed the English to take a two-point lead going into the break; the score, 12-14.
The next fifteen saw the South Africans struggling at the post again. Lenise Potgieter and Marika Holtshausen finishing the half with just an 81% shooting record; this opposed to just one shot missed from the Roses. The crowd continued their full-backing of the home-side; half-time, 22-29.
The second thirty minutes needed a big push from Bongi Msomi and her chargers. However, despite the grit and determination from the South Africans, the speed of play from the Roses was too much to handle. England captain Serena Guthrie and wing defence Jade Clarke shepherded her side to a fourteen-point lead going into the final quarter.
The last fifteen minutes at the 2019 Netball World Cup for the two sides proved nothing but sheer brilliance from the Roses. As fast-paced as they were from the get-go, the hosts attacked and attacked and attacked. The Proteas had no answer and had to settle for a sixteen point loss; the final score 58-42 to the Roses.