By Amiee Dawson
The Australian Diamonds will play in tomorrow’s gold medal match of the Netball World Cup, after defeating the Jamaican Sunshine Girls in a record-breaking match.
The Diamonds won by 11 goals, 67 – 56 in front of a world-record-breaking crowd of 16, 244.
The Diamonds will face the New Zealand Silver Ferns in the gold medal match, who defeated England earlier today, also by 11, 50 – 39.
The Diamonds, who smashed Wales yesterday 89 – 24, were fast out of the blocks, scoring five goals to one in the opening minutes of play.
The opening line-up which will likely be the one taken into the grand final, includes Natalie Medhurst and Caitlin Bassett in the shooting circle, who only missed three goals for the entire game between them, Kimberlee Green, Kimberley Ravaillion and Renae Hallinan in the midcourt, and Laura Geitz and Julie Corletto in in defence.
Australia, shooting at 100% in the first quarter, saw them ahead by two at the first break, despite having a lead of five earlier in the match.
There was no stopping Australia in the second quarter, with captain, Laura Geitz, not giving her Queensland Firebirds team mate, Romelda Aiken, an inch.
Scoring 18 – 11 goals in the second-quarter, Australia took a nine-goal lead into the main break.
An injury to Kimberlee Green early in the third-quarter sent fears through the Australian camp, however after a time-out she was able to finish off the game.
The difference on the scoreboard did not reflect the on-court pressure, with the physicality of the match intensifying in the second-half.
Three-quick goals to Jamaica’s Romelda Aiken brought the margin back to seven at the three-quarter time break.
Fan favourite, Sharni Layton was injected into the game for the final quarter at goal keeper and had an immediate impact, forcing Jamaica to bring on the tallest player in the competition, Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, into goal shooter.
Romelda Aiken, who got taken from GS, moved to goal keeper to try to counter the height of Caitlin Bassett, who scored 49 goals for the match.
Despite these changes, Australia still managed to increase their lead, to finish 11 goal victors.
Australian defender, Julie Corletto, who will be retiring from netball after tomorrow’s game, said that tomorrow might be emotional for her.
“Probably will be a little bit emotional, but can’t wait, I love the game and can’t wait to get out there tomorrow,” Corletto said.
Tomorrow’s game will be a rematch of the preliminary rounds match between the two teams, which New Zealand won, 52 – 47.
“I think looking our game from last time it was the silly errors, so things like looking after the ball and just doing the simple things well [is the key to the match],” said Corletto.
Wing defender Renae Hallinan is also excited for tomorrow’s match in her first ever World Cup tournament.
“This is what we worked for four years for, to get into that gold medal match,” Hallinan said.
“We just cannot wait to run out there tomorrow in front of a green and gold army tomorrow for the gold medal match.