The old word order has been shaken to its core. For the first time in 25 years someone other that New Zealand or Australia have won the Commonwealth Gold medal in Netball. The winner this time was England after several Bronzes and fourth places the girls have finally gone and done it. They have won and won well plus they are away form a home nation venue, or are they? That happens to be one of the many reasons why they were successful. Let’s have a look at this team and how they achieved this historic win. Netball is a fast paced women’s only game and t get good you will need to watch Netball Drill Training videos like the ones available at https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Netball/drills.jsp, you can bet that Geva Mentor and Jo Harten did.
Under the name of the England Roses this was a team determined to win at least a silver medal having been third and fourth runners up. The team was packing some seriously experienced players who had been through those games. Geva Mentor was in an incredible fifth games! For others such as the team Captain Ama Agbeze and Jo Clarke it was there fourth and a third for, Eboni Beckford-Chambers and Jo Harten. The team was playing well having beaten tournaments favourite s New Zealand and the much-lauded South Africa to win the Quads tournament.
The Commonwealth games was to be held in the Gold Coast of Australia. One of the contributing factors to the girl’s success was that many of the players such as Geva Mentor, Ama Agbeze, Serena Guthrie, Chelsea Pitman, Helen Houseby and Jo Harten all played in the major Australian Netball league. This is the Premier league of Netball so to play in it shows that you are the pinnacle of your game. It also meant the players were used to the conditions and environment so that they were not intimidated by the surroundings and were able to help the others not be overawed by the occasion, experienced though they were too. The game at its grass roots has also been growing in stature and it is a testament to that success as well.
The opening draw was tough, especially as it featured the dreaded New Zealand but also the extra spice of Wales and Scotland. The New Zealand team were a shadow of there past selves and the Roses were able to beat then quite easily and eased past the other teams as well. Despite a tough match against Jamaica, where Jo Harten was needed to score a last second winning score, a feature of her game it seems, they were ready to go up against the Australia Diamonds.
It was an incredible tense and close affair but the Roses won 52-51, again from a last minute score for Jo Harten to spark some of the most wonderful and joyous scenes ever seen at the Games in its history. Roll on Birmingham in four years’ time.