23 Oct 2014

Diamonds finish season unbeaten

12:37 pm on 23 October 2014

The Australian netball team has capped its first unbeaten year since 2002 with a second-Test win over England.

The Diamonds overcame England 54-47 in their second Test in Canberra to post their 19th successive win, dating back to September last year.

Australian netballers Laura Geitz and Julie Corletto.

Australian netballers Laura Geitz and Julie Corletto. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The visitors delivered an improved performance on their 18-point loss in Bendigo on Sunday but world number one Australia proved once again it is a class above.

The win capped a stellar 2014 that included the Diamonds' first Commonwealth Games gold medal in 12 years and a maiden clean sweep of the four-Test Constellation Cup series against arch-rivals New Zealand.

The two-Test series win over England was important after they only beat the world number three by a last-ditch goal in the Commonwealth Games round robin meeting.

The Diamonds again started strongly and raced to a 16-9 lead at quarter-time.

They pushed that out to 10 goals midway through the second quarter with their speedy midcourt of Madi Robinson, Kim Ravaillion and Renae Hallinan again giving England headaches.

England shooters Jo Harten and Rachel Dunn kept their side in the match but a lack of supply meant they were unable to peg their opponents back with the lead 31-23 at half-time.

Clare McMeniman made her Australian Test debut at three-quarter time, replacing goal defence Julie Corletto, and after a nervous start settled into the role.

A four-goal run closed the lead to 33-30 midway through the third quarter with Australian goaler Caitlin Bassett forced off the with a foot problem.

It did not prove serious and she returned for the final quarter as the Diamonds again pulled away for the comfortable victory.

Australian goal attack Natalie Medhurst finished with 19 goals from 21 attempts while Harten posted 29 from 35.

England now head to New Zealand for two Tests.