IMAGE| MICHAEL WILLSON
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games netball gold medal will be determined today, with the Australian Diamonds playing England.
It is the first time in Commonwealth Games history that England will contest the netball gold, whilst Australia are striving to go back to back after a successful campaign in Glasgow 2014.
Both teams were undefeated in the preliminary rounds and progressed through semi-finals with the Diamonds defeating New Zealand 65-44 and England beating Jamaica 56-55 in a thriller.
Last time they met in January 2018, the Diamonds overcame England 50 – 46 in London at the Netball Quad Series.
Since then, the English have continued their journey to Commonwealth Games, improving with each outing. They showed mental toughness in their semi-final against Jamaica according to head coach Lisa Alexander, who said, “England saw their opportunity and fought back hard from behind, which is a difficult task.
“For them to win by shooting a goal on the buzzer showed great belief, and we expect them to absolutely bring everything to the court on Sunday,” she explained.
The Diamonds have demonstrated incredible depth throughout the Commonwealth Games, with a different starting seven in each of their six games leading into the gold medal match.
In every game of the tournament each of the 12 athletes has taken the court, all bringing a unique flair to the Diamonds line up.
Alexander said, “gone are the days of a set Australian starting seven. Any one of our 12 is capable of starting the game, and we will have five enforcers on the bench who will come on seamlessly at any time. It’s a coaches’ dream, and we have been working to get to this point for years.
“We know it will take all 12 players to win gold.”
Five members of the English team are currently contracted to Suncorp Super Netball, both sides knowing each other’s games inside out as teammates and opposition. How will this play out? Fans will witness close contests across the court as friends become foes.