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Australia and New Zealand to fight netball final out

02 August 2002

Netball heavyweights Australia and New Zealand survived serious challenges from England and Jamaica to advance to Sunday’s final.

Irene Van Dyk

Australia were disappointed with the unconvincing fashion in which they defeated England, the bronze medallists from Kuala Lumpur, 49-38, on Friday.

At half-time, Australia were forced to run their first-pick line-up which included in-form star Sharelle McMahon and captain Kathryn Harby-Williams.

England matched Australia 23-23 in the second and third quarters. Australia, who led 12-6 at quarter-time, did not restore their authority until the last quarter.

New Zealand staved off a third-quarter onslaught from Jamaica who put them under immense pressure to draw within six goals.

Both England and Jamaica exposed traces of invincibility – for the first time in the tournament - within the powerful Australian and New Zealand outfits.

Awesome New Zealand goal shooter Irene Van Dyk, despite describing her own performance as a “shocker”, finished the game with 41/48.

South Africa finished a deserving fifth by defeating Wales 71-27. South Africa’s 195cm shooter Sindisiswe Gumede, who has endeared herself to netball followers over the past week, is the competition’s leading goal scorer with 253.

World No 6 Fiji salvaged their reputation as an improving netball nation by finishing the Commonwealth Games with wins in both of their classifications.

Fiji defeated Sri Lanka 80-42 on Friday to finish seventh while Barbados secured ninth position by defeating Canada, 64-30.

Info News Service/nt/pjt

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