Diamonds take Quad series win
The Origin Australian Diamonds have been crowned Quad Series champions in Cape Town after defeating New Zealand, 56-49.It was tight early in the first quarter with both sides slotting goal after goal. The Australian shooting duo of Cara Koenen and Steph Wood moved confidently on court scoring with ease while Grace Nweke ran the show for the Ferns down the other end.
Koenen and Wood’s shooting was exceptional at 100 per cent for the first quarter with Koenen going on to only miss one goal throughout the match.
Off the back of an error from the Diamonds, the Silver Ferns were able to break away late in the opening quarter to lead 18-15 at the first break.
The Diamonds upped their defence pressure across the court in the second quarter.
The pressure created from the Diamonds resulted in four general play turnovers from the Silver Ferns with Ash Brazill and Sarah Klau also combining for two gains and two intercepts.
Liz Watson and Paige Hadley’s movement through the midcourt was slick as they broke free of their opponents to hit the circle edge and feed into Wood and Koenen.
The Diamonds reduced the margin they faced at the start of the quarter and were able to draw level on 30 goal apiece at halftime.
With scores level and only a half left to play, the Diamonds ignited in the third quarter.
Brazill and Hadley kept New Zealand workhorses Gina Crampton and Kate Heffernan quiet, restricting their feeds.
While Diamonds’ captain Watson was strong in wing attack, leading in the feeds into the Australian shooters.
Courtney Bruce and Klau challenged New Zealand’s Ameliaranne Ekenasio and Nweke when the ball entered the shooting circle for the Ferns.
The Diamonds made the most of their opportunities as they came and broke out to a five-goal lead, setting themselves up for a blockbuster final quarter.