15 Oct 2010

Silver Ferns grab dramatic netball gold

6:32 am on 15 October 2010

The Silver Ferns have grabbed one of the last gold medals of the Commonwealth games after a dramatic extra-time victory over Australia in the netball final.

The match, one of the most memorable ever played, was level at 47-47 at the end of full-time, and when the 14 minutes of extra time was played, the score was 58-58.

From there it went into golden goal - the first team to lead by two would win.

The teams, so evenly matched, fought all the way to 64-all before Maria Tutaia, New Zealand's star player, sank the winning shots.

Tutaia had a superb game, shooting 41 from 50 attempts... many from long range, while Irene van Dyk landed 25 goals.

New Zealand trailed 10-9 at quarter-time and 23-20 at half-time, but had a decisive third quarter and led 35-33 at three-quarter time.

For New Zealand, Casey Williams and Katrina Grant played the entire game in the defence circle. Joline Henry and Anna Scarlett split the wing defence duties. Laura Langman played the full game at centre and Temepara George and Liana Barrett-Chase shared the wing attack job.

Barrett-Chase was extremely effective, adding punch to the attacking effort at just the right time.

The result means that New Zealand have successfully defended their Commonwealth Games title.

The match itself was like a replica of the final the two teams played at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games, except that on that occasion it was the Australians who got there in sudden death extra time.