Australia have completed a dominant clean sweep of their England tour, smashing the hosts 55-41 in the third and final Test.
The sweep, Australia’s first in England since 2004, was built on the back of another standout game from player of the series Sharni Layton and lights out shooting, this time from Caitlin Bassett, who sent home a game-high 27 goals, equal with English star Helen Housby.
As has been the case throughout the series, the two teams played out a tightly contested first half on Sunday in London before Australia pulled away late in the second quarter to take a 26-20 lead into the halftime break.
Again, it was defensive star Layton who proved key to the Diamonds’ charge – forcing four first-half interceptions and five deflections.
The NSW Swifts player again had game highs in interceptions (4) and deflections (9), while grabbing four rebounds — second only to Bassett’s five.
Throughout the series, Australia had broken the game open with big third quarters and Sunday’s clash proved no different.
Increased pressure at both ends led to England coughing up six turnovers as Australia opened up a 12-goal lead at the final break which they extended to 14 by fulltime.
England suffered a blow when centre and captain Sara Bayman went down hard and picked up a left knee injury which briefly forced her from the court, while Australia went on an 8-1 run to crack the game open.
Bayman was later sent off for repeated fouls following an earlier warning, leaving England to play out the match a player down for the final minute.
Gretel Tippett had the best game of her six-cap Diamonds career, drawing on her basketball background to execute several of her trademark lay-up finishes in an impressive first half.
Tippett, who started all three Tests but is still viewed as a project player, finished with eight from eight shooting before coming off with a finger injury just before halftime.