Netball Quad series: England earn dramatic 48-48 tie with Australia

Netball Quad series: England earn dramatic 48-48 tie with Australia
_122876755_gettyimages-1365443887.jpgEleanor Cardwell played in both goal attack and goal shooter positions and scored 26 out of her 30 shots

England scored a dramatic last second goal to tie a tense match 48-48 against world number ones Australia in a rehearsal of Wednesday's Quad Series final.

The Roses trailed for long periods but Helen Housby levelled with seconds on the clock.

Both sides had already secured their spots in the final after wins against South Africa and New Zealand.

Earlier, New Zealand earned their first series win, 54-43 over South Africa.

After a tense opening quarter in which it was evident the two sides had not faced each other since the last Quad Series in 2019 - the Diamonds were the first to settle and managed to wrestle a lead in a frantic opening period.

Eleanor Cardwell struggled to get the better of goal keeper Sarah Klau with England coach Jess Thirlby seeing fit to move Housby to goal shooter in the second quarter to allow her to match up against her New South Wales team-mate, with whom she won the Super Netball Grand Final in 2021.

With impressive shooter George Fisher absent from the match day squad it was down to Cardwell and Housby to rack up the goals, but Housby seemed out of sorts, uncharacteristically missing shots and relying heavily on Cardwell to get the points on the board.

Swings in momentum and some unforced errors saw the Roses chasing the game but Thirlby took the opportunity to trial some new combinations, particularly in mid-court, with the game a dead rubber.

Sophie Drakeford-Lewis, whose favoured position is goal attack, featured at wing attack with Laura Malcolm given a run-out at centre while Stacey Francis-Bayman got her first outing of the series.

But this was still England against Australia and with eight minutes to go in the final period Cardwell sunk her shot to draw level at 41-41.

The Roses continued to struggle for consistency but late drama can never be ruled out - and Housby is well known for providing it, having scored the goal that won England Commonwealth gold in 2018.

Quarter-time scores

Q1 - 9-12Q2 - 19-23Q3 - 32-38Q4 - 48-48

Starting sevens

England: GK - Usoro-Brown; GD - Guscoth; WD - Guthrie; C - Clarke; WA - Metcalf; GA - Housby; GS - Cardwell

Australia: GK - Klau; GD - Weston; WD - Brazill; C - Price; WA - Watson; GA - Wood; GS - Koenen

New Zealand victorious over South Africa

The Silver Ferns earned their first win of the tournament with an assured performance against the Proteas, looking more like the side that won the World Cup in 2019.

South Africa are without a win in this series so far and have been sloppy with the ball but showed signs of improvement since their 71-47 thrashing by England in the opening match.

The two sides will face each other again on Wednesday in the third-place play-off.

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