Diamonds Win Thriller to Sweep Constellation Cup
The Australian Diamonds have completed a clean sweep of the Constellation Cup series against New Zealand after winning a thrilling fourth and final Test at The Trust Arena in Auckland tonight.
The Diamonds were forced to dig deep in the final term to overrun an inspired Silver Ferns combination and claim a 51-47 victory. In doing so they stretched their winning streak against New Zealand to nine matches – one off equaling their all-time best record against their arch rivals.
It’s the first time since the Constellation Cup was introduced to Test matches between Australia and New Zealand in 2010 that one country has swept the series.
After trailing by five goals early in the last term, the Diamonds were inspired by some great defensive efforts from Sharni Layton which were capitalised on by Caitlin Bassett and Natalie Medhurst in the goal circle.
The Diamonds outscored the Silver Ferns 17-9 in the last term to clinch their 17th consecutive victory against all countries.
It was the closest match between the two countries since Australia started its winning streak – in Auckland in September last year.
Medhurst said it was a fantastic finish to the series and praised her teammates for their final quarter fight back.
“We certainly had to dig deep and you’d expect nothing less from the Silver Ferns to come out and challenge us,” Medhurst said.
“It (last quarter) was about playing each ball and picking up our defensive intensity which we did and Sharni pulled in the balls that we needed.”
The Diamonds now return to Australia to prepare for two Tests against England in the Real Insurance Netball Test Series at Bendigo (19 October, 2.15pm) and the AIS Arena in Canberra (October 22, 7.15pm).