Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

England's netball team wins historic Commonwealth Games gold after shock Australia win

England's netball team wins historic Commonwealth Games gold after shock Australia win

The closing moments of the match were tense. Faced with the task of beating a Jamaican side led by the daunting physical presence of inspired 6ft 6in goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, England appeared to freeze in the spotlight during a calamitous second period inside the Coomera Indoor Sports Centre. The game was on a knife edge.

England sit second in the table on three points and play Wales (9.59am BST) tomorrow. After Harten had missed, Housby claimed the rebound and netted, after she was fouled.

A last-second landmark triumph for England against the much-garlanded hosts revived memories of Manchester United miracles and meant that the Commonwealth Games finished on a vertiginous high for women's sport.

After their buzzer-beating performance, England captain Ama Agbeze said: "They gave us a tough game and we knew that they had been challenged throughout the whole competition". They had previously beaten Jamaica 56-55 in a nail-biting semi-final.

Housby said of her winning goal: "To be honest, it was kind of all a blur".

Swimmer Cam McEvoy, who was an ambassador for the Gold Coast Games, said he enjoyed himself at the ceremony. "As a shooter you dream of that moment".

"This is everything, this is done - eight years ago I sat down and said this was my last race and never wavered. when you're in these colours you've got to be fierce and today I had as close to fierce as I'll ever get", he said.

But this is no flash in the plan, it's been a long time in the making, and having spoken to head coach Tracey Neville and the players on a number of occasions during the last couple of years, this is the culmination of a process. "We support each other 100 per cent". "They are the ones who drive me".

Kurt Fearnley has offered a typically classy response to the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony furore after TV viewers didn't get to see him carry the flag into the stadium.

It hasn't all been plain sailing; the advent of professional contracts and increased numbers of players heading down under to play their club netball has all to be balanced with the demand for results.

"These are the people who are the heroes for the next generation coming through, encouraging them to be fit and to be healthy and to engage in sport, and making them proud of their country". "Netball has been part of my life since I was five", she said.

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