Sport Netball Clinical Diamonds win gold in grudge match

Clinical Diamonds win gold in grudge match

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Australia won a surprisingly one-sided gold-medal match over New Zealand in the netball at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games on Sunday night (AEST).

The 58-40 thrashing was some much-needed payback for the clinical Diamonds, who lost the previous two finals to the Silver Ferns.

Things were tight between the bitter rivals through the first quarter, with scores locked at 14 heading into the first break.

The Diamonds scored three unanswered goals to start the second quarter, but the advantage did not last long, with the teams back on level pegging by the fifth minute of the period.

The Australian defence, spearheaded by captain and goalkeeper Laura Geitz, clamped down and Caitlin Bassett and Natalie Medhurst built a healthy five-goal with four minutes left before half-time.

The Silver Ferns trailed 28-24 at half-time after a below-average second quarter saw Silver Ferns goal-shooter Maria Tutaia shoot just 14/19 in the opening half while Bassett went 25/29 through two quarters.

It did not take long for the Diamonds to extend the lead to 36-26 with eight minutes remaining in the third quarter, as the Silver Ferns’ shooting percentage plummeted to 72 per cent in the face of stifling defence from Geitz and goal defence Julie Corletto.

New Zealand trailed 43-32 at three-quarter-time and brought Northern Mystics shooter Catherine Latu on as shooter, moving the struggling Tutaia to goal attack for the final quarter.

But there was nothing the Silver Ferns could do in the face of a clinical Australian outfit that built up a whopping 18-point lead by full-time.