Late heartbreak for England

Australia seal series after dramatic comeback

Last Updated: 24/02/10 7:53am

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Australia: Series win

Australia: Series win

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A dramatic late fightback saw England denied a historic series victory over Australia.

For more than 50 minutes England looked on course for victory in the deciding match of the best-of-three Co-operative International Series at the O2 Arena.

However Australia, who had levelled the series with a narrow win in Nottingham, dug deep to secure a 45-43 win.

The defeat was heartbreaking for England, who had led for long periods and had led 29-20 at one stage.

England head coach Sue Hawkins, who saw her side win the opening match 41-40 in Liverpool, said: "When we were nine goals up we should have built from that margin.

"We have to go back and look at what it was. Was it they stepped up, or we allowed them to step up? My feeling is we allowed them to step up.

Assualt

"Our error count went up and especially when it got tight in that last five minutes. So when the pressure goes on we need to practice like that."

The turning point came in the final quarter as England saw their 35-29 lead quickly evaporate as the Diamonds launched a full-on assault.

Nerves did not help England's cause as they Australia increased the pressure and when the tourists took the lead for the first time at 40-39, there was only one likely outcome.

Australian head coach Norma Plumber was understandably delighted, saying: "You don't win nine out of 12 world series if you don't know what it's about.

"I thought we started to get the momentum in the second quarter and let it go again. But to come home like a train, I'm just absolutely rapt with the girls did there."

England: GS: Jo Harten GA: Pam Cookey WA: Karen Atkinson C: Jade Clarke WD Sara Bayman GD: Sonia Mkoloma c GK: Geva Mentor

Australia: GS: Caitlin Bassett GA: Susan Pratley WA: Madison Browne C: Natalie Von Bertouch WD: Mo'onia Gerrard GD: Rebecca Bulley GK: Bianca Chatfield

Umpires: Annie Kloppers, Chris Campbell, and Bobbi Brown

Score summaries - Q1: 12-8
Q2: 23-17
Q3: 35-29
Q4: 43-45

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