England down Australian Diamonds

The Australian Diamonds have suffered just their third ever defeat to England, going down 58-53 in the first Test at the University of Bath on Sunday.

England took the ascendency early as they stormed ahead to a four-goal lead midway through the first quarter to the delight of the sold out parochial Bath crowd.

The Diamonds fought back to trail by one but it was short lived as the hosts re-established a five-goal advantage at quarter-time, 17-12.

Australian coach Lisa Alexander turned to her bench at quarter-time and introduced debutant NSW junior Kimberley Ravaillion at centre while Madison Browne moved into wing attack as Renae Hallinan made way in the middle.

England’s defensive duo Ama Abgeze and Eboni Beckford-Chambers frustrated the Diamonds, disrupting the link between the Australian feeders and shooters Catherine Cox and Susan Pratley.

The quarter-time changes brought temporary relief as the Diamonds scored five straight early in the second stanza however England again bounced back as they extended their advantage to 11 goals at half-time, 33-22.

The Australians came out of half-time full of energy with the shooting combination of Caitlin Bassett and Erin Bell turning around the visitors fortunes as they pegged back the half-time deficit to 43-39 at three-quarter time.

Defenders Rebecca Bulley and Chanel Gomes controlled the defensive circle while Hallinan, at wing defence, Ravaillion and Browne took away England’s space in transition which created plenty of possession.

The Diamonds continued to bridge the margin early in the final quarter, cutting the margin to two goals, before England rallied to record their highest ever score against Australia, eclipsing their previous record by ten goals, and take a one-nil lead in the three-Test series.

The series continues with the second Test on Wednesday night at Wembley Arena in London.

For more details on the match head to the Netball Australia website

For broadcast details click here

 

Starting lineups:

 

  Diamonds England
GS Catherine Cox Jo Harten
GA Susan Pratley Pamela Cookey
WA Madison Browne Sasha Corbin
C Renae Hallinan Serena Guthrie
WD Mo’onia Gerrard Sara Bayman
GD Chanel Gomes Ama Abgeze
GK Rebecca Bulley Eboni Beckford-Chambers