England achieved a historic milestone by securing their first-ever spot in the Netball World Cup final with a thrilling 46-40 victory over reigning champions New Zealand.
The highly anticipated final will be broadcasted live on Sunday, with selected games also available on the Sky Sports YouTube channel.
The match began with palpable nerves evident on both sides, leading to a tight contest in the middle of the court. New Zealand’s held balls and Geva Mentor’s resolute defence for England made for a closely fought first quarter, ending with the teams tied at 9-9.
As the game progressed, New Zealand found their rhythm, sticking to their game plan, while England’s Layla Guscoth and Layla Guscoth displayed tenacity and skill to keep England in the game. The scores remained neck and neck as the third quarter ended with both teams tied at 32-32.
The final quarter intensified the excitement as Imogen Allison returned to the Centre position for England, and Fran Williams made a game-changing interception in the circle. New Zealand, determined to make a comeback, levelled the scores at 40-apiece with five minutes to go.
However, England’s grit and determination shone through as they pushed forward. Williams’ crucial interception with four minutes left gave England a two-goal lead, followed by further goals from Cardwell and Housby, securing a momentous 46-40 triumph.
England co-captain Layla Guscoth expressed gratitude for the team’s hard work behind the scenes and emphasised the deservedness of this achievement. Fran Williams highlighted the team’s exceptional mental resilience and the strategic impact of players coming on later in the game.
The victory marks a pivotal moment for English netball, silencing critics and showcasing the team’s unwavering commitment. As they prepare to face Australia in the highly anticipated final, the entire nation eagerly awaits the chance to witness history in the making.