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Victories continue for Diamonds

A tantalising clash between the Origin Diamonds and England Roses completed Australia’s opening weekend of Netball Nations Cup action. While the Diamonds kept the Roses at an arm’s length throughout the first half, the Roses had other ideas, culminating in a tight 61-59 result as the Australians came out on top.

The gold medal rematch was a challenge from the get-go, with neither side giving an inch and putting it all out on the court.

A new-look starting seven from head coach Stacey Marinkovich kept England on their toes throughout a tough opening quarter, as both Sophie Garbin and Sophie Dwyer moved freely and confidently to put their name in the ring for consistent starting roles.

Courtney Bruce continued where she left off after a stellar opening against New Zealand, living up to the blockbuster matchup against Roses spearhead Eleanor Cardwell.

The Roses are nothing if not ready to take action, and a screaming intercept from goal keeper Razia Quashie set up just that as a four-goal run kept them in touch at the main change.

The Roses fired up after half time, led by a hungry defensive unit of Fran Williams and Raz Quashie and powered by an animated England crowd. Relentless pressure turned into errors as the Roses took charge.

But despite congestion and a confident England unit, the Diamonds fought back.

A sensational final quarter kept the finger on the pulse for the Aussies, with smooth changes from Marinkovich producing an even smoother on court performance.

Greater composure and decision-making allowed the Diamonds to control proceedings once more, eventually claiming the two-goal victory.

Match Report by Sophie Taylor Neball Australia

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