Get ready netball fans – the 2014 Commonwealth Games Semi Finals are upon us following the conclusion of the preliminary round robin stage overnight.
INF World Number 1 and 2-ranked nations, Australia and New Zealand, have finished atop both Pool ladders and will meet Jamaica and England, respectively, in the Semi Finals to be contested this Saturday 2 August.
New Zealand will meet World Number 3 England for the first Semi Final at 7pm AEST, before Australia takes the court against World Number 4 Jamaica immediately after at 9:15pm.
New Zealand consolidated top spot with a tough win over Jamaica last night, Wednesday 30 July. In what was a close match for much of the 60 minutes, the back-to-back Gold Medallists pulled away from the Sunshine Girls in the final quarter to finish 50-42 victors.
England could prove a tough test for New Zealand, who head into the finals with injury concerns for first-choice shooters Cathrine Latu and Tutaia. England pushed Australia to the limit in arguably the match of the tournament so far, with the Aussies claiming a come-from-behind, one-goal victory in the dying seconds of the game. Locked in a fierce battle for the entire 60 minutes, the game looked to be headed for Extra Time when Caitlin Bassett found the post for Australia in the final minute to level scores.
2014 ANZ Championship co-MVP Jo Harten had the opportunity to put her English side in front after Australian captain Laura Geitz was called for obstruction, however a miss and defensive rebound to 2015 NSW Swift Julie Corletto saw the ball speed down into the safe hands of Bassett who put the Aussies in front to claim the win.
The top four sides will enjoy two days of rest and recuperation before the Semi Finals; but never fear, there is still plenty of netball to enjoy! The other eight teams will contest the Classification Matches over the next two days to decide their final positions on the ladder.
With the shadows of the last Commonwealth Games Gold Medal double Extra Time match in Delhi lingering, can the Aussies reverse their fortunes in 2014 and get revenge from our Kiwi rivals? All will be revealed this weekend!
|Pool A||Pool B|
|5||Scotland||5||Trinidad & Tobago|
|Fri 1 Aug||2:00am*||Saint Lucia v Barbados (Classification Match: 11 v 12)|
|4:15am||Scotland v Trinidad & Tobago (Classification Match: 9 v 10)|
|6:30pm||Northern Ireland v Wales (Classification Match: 7 v 8)|
|8:45pm||Malawi v South Africa (Classification Match: 5 v 6)|
|Sat 2 Aug||7:00pm||Semi Final: New Zealand v England|
|9:15pm||Semi Final: Australia v Jamaica|
|Sun 3 Aug||7:00pm||Bronze Medal Match (Loser SF 1 v Loser SF 2)|
|9:30pm||Gold Medal Match (Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2)|
*all times AEST