Diamonds avenge Comm Games final loss

Adrian Warren
Caitlin Bassett grabs an awkward pass as the Diamonds beat England in Newcastle

Australia have overcome some shaky first and last quarter periods to avenge their Commonwealth Games netball final loss to England with a 52-47 win over the Roses on Wednesday.

Trailing 14-9 late in the first quarter of their Quad Series game in Newcastle, Australia outscored England 15-10 in each of the the two middle terms to take control of the match.

They had a seven goal third quarter buffer slashed to two inside the last four minutes, but steadied down the stretch to beat England in the first clash between the nations since the Commonwealth Games.

"Obviously there was a little bit more fire in the belly but we did try and put it behind us and to play our game, Comm Games was a while ago now," Diamonds defender Courtney Bruce said.

"Really happy with what we were able to put out.

"It's just knowing that the game is not going to be won in a half for us and that we have to grind it out and do the hard work to get the outcome."

Australia are the only one of the four teams to win two out of two and will clinch the series with a win over New Zealand in the final round in Melbourne on Sunday.

Diamonds coach coach Lisa Alexander made one change to her starting seven, with Kelsey Brown, who made her debut off the bench in the previous game, starting at wing attack in place of Liz Watson.

Veterans Serena Guthrie and Geva Mentor won England plenty of ball in the first quarter.

The Roses ,who were without injured shooter Jo Harten, bolted to a five-goal advantage, before Australia scored the last two of the quarter.

Alexander made a change in the second quarter, bringing in Watson at centre in place of Kim Ravaillion.

The switch paid off, with Australian captain Caitlin Bassett seeing a lot more ball.

After having just six attempts in the first quarter, Bassett made all 11 of her shots in the second, in which player of the match Watson racked up nine of her 21 assists.

A run of five straight goals pushed the Diamonds into a lead of three and though England got back on level terms, Stephanie Wood notched the last two goals of the quarter to give Australia a 26-24 halftime lead.

Wood, who went into the match under an injury cloud, was replaced at halftime by Gretel Tippett after making ten out of her 12 shots.

England coach Tracy Neville made numerous changes between the second and fourth quarters.

The Roses struggled for fluency as Australia lifted their intensity, but found some rhythm in the last quarter..

Bassett finished with 37 out of 40, while Helen Housby led England's scoring with 29 from 35.