England took out the Fast5 Netball World Series title at Hisense Arena over the weekend, becoming only the second country to win in the Fast5 format of the game.
England defeated Jamaica in a thrilling 34-29 match, which was neck-and-neck until the final quarter where England used their Power Play to full advantage.
England captain Ama Agbeze felt the attitude of the team was what helped them to success.
“This is absolutely unbelievable. In modern netball, I don’t think England has ever won a gold medal so, this is actually gold to us.
“Just having a laugh always off the court, I think just being light-hearted and that’s pretty much what we’ve done now. We’ve been able to be ourselves.”
After finishing fifth in last year’s tournament, Jamaica was undefeated all tournament, with their only loss in the grand final match.
Captain Jhaniele Fowler-Reid credited the team’s preparation to a successful 2017 campaign.
“Coming fifth last year was never on our agenda because we always come out to win but coming out and playing for the gold medal this year is just so amazing.
We got to show how much work we’ve put in and from last year to this year we’ve improved a lot.”
Host team Australia – who had three NSW representatives in their squad in Ash Brazill, Paige Hadley and Sam Poolman – finished third, defeating reigning champions New Zealand for the second time this weekend, adding to the rivalry.
Despite the result, Australian captain Kate Moloney was proud to step on court in the green and gold.
“It’s an honour to be able to play for Australia, but to be able to lead the Australian Fast5 team was amazing.
“It wasn’t quite the result we were after, but to be able to play in Melbourne in front of a home crowd is great and hopefully next year we can come back and get that gold.”
Hosted for the second time in Melbourne, almost 9000 fans flocked to Hisense Arena across the weekend.
CEO of Netball Australia, Marne Fechner said the Fast5 Netball World Series was another success in its second year held in Melbourne.
“What an incredible weekend of netball, from the top six netballing nations in the world.
“It’s been a sensational and unpredictable contest, and we congratulate all the participating nations.
“The fans have embraced the fun and excitement of Fast5 Netball, creating such a great atmosphere at Hisense Arena, we can’t wait to do it all again next year.”
2017 Fast5 Netball World Series final rankings
4th New Zealand
5th South Africa
Article: Netball Australia, Picture: Getty Images