The New Zealand Fast5 Ferns are the inaugural champions of the Fast5 Netball World Series, after defeating England Fives by two points in a nail-biting Grand Final, 23-21, while the Australian Fast5 Diamonds finished sixth.
After winning both their Semi Finals convincingly, with the Fast5 Ferns claiming a 34 point victory over the Sunshine Girls and England Fives defeating the SPAR Proteas by 24 points, it was the Kiwis and the English who would contest for the Gold Medal.
It was tit-for-tat in the concluding match of the three day tournament at Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. However England were able to take the lead at every break in the match, with the Kiwis closing the margin at each quarter, pulling back to a slender one point deficit heading into the final quarter.
Both teams adopted tight one-on-one defence to try to create as many turnovers as possible to turn into scoring opportunities. Once again it was evergreen Goal Shooter Irene van Dyk who shot the winning goal in the final minutes of the match.
In the Bronze Medal Match, the SPAR Proteas were able to defeat Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls by four points to take out third place, 38-34.
After the Sunshine Girls flew out of the starting blocks to take an early seven point lead at the first break, the South Africans were able to capitalise on their Power Play to put on 22 points in the second quarter. From there the Proteas never relinquished the lead to claim the Bronze Medal.
The Malawi Queens were able to post a three point victory over the Australian Fast5 Diamonds in their play-off match, 33-30. Melbourne-based Goal Shooter Mwai Kumwenda was a standout once again for her team, shooting 20 points out of a possible 23; only missing one Super Shot.
Congratulations to the Fast5 Ferns on their inaugural victory.
SPAR Proteas 25 def Sunshine Girls 22
England Fives 29 def Fas5 Diamonds 27
Fast5 Ferns38 drew Sunshine Girls 38
Malawi Queens 33 def Fast5 Diamonds 15
England Five 41 def SPAR Proteas 27
Sunshine Girls 32 def Malawi Queens 31
Fast5 Ferns 31 def Fast5 Diamonds 23
England Fives 39 def Sunshine Girls 28
Fast5 Ferns 44 def Malawi Queens 24
SPAR Proteas 28 def Fast5 Diamonds 27
Malawi Queens 27 def England Fives 23
Fast5 Ferns 52 def SPAR Proteas 19
Sunshine Girls 34 def Fast5 Diamonds 33
SPAR Proteas 48 def Malawi Queens 34
Fast5 Ferns 47 def England Fives 31
SF 1: Fast5 Ferns 52 def Sunshine Girls 18
SF 2: England Fives 39 def SPAR Proteas 15
PO: Malawi Queens 33 def Fast5 Diamonds 30
BM: SPAR Proteas 38 def Sunshine Girls 34
GM: Fast5 Ferns 23 def England Fives 21