Silver Ferns nail series to win Taini Jamison Trophy
The Silver Ferns won the Taini Jamison Trophy after repelling a spirited England 59-52 in the third Test in Hamilton on Saturday to seal the Cadbury Netball Series 2-1.
Holding a slim two-goal margin heading down the home straight, and with the series on the line, the Silver Ferns finished strongly to claim the trophy which holds special significance to the women in black.
Stunned by a one-goal loss in the series-opener, the Silver Ferns roared back in the second to post a handsome 21-goal win, while the third sat on a knife-edge, the outcome not determined until late in the piece, a five-goal unanswered burst finally pushing the Silver Ferns into a position of comfort.
After making her Silver Ferns debut in the second Test, 19-year-old goal shoot Amelia Walmsley continued her impressive introduction to international netball when returning a stellar outing which included 40 shots from 44 attempts.
The home side were pushed all the way by a gallant young England team and shad to soldier their way through some testing spells throughout the series.
Unsurprisingly, the Silver Ferns retained their winning formula of the second test in naming an unchanged seven to start the decider which remained in place for the duration of the match.
For England, goal attack Berri Neil got her first start of the series along with wing defence Ellie Rattu.
The visitors held the slightest of edges through the opening quarter, better timing, ball speed and positional play setting the platform for an effective and largely untroubled path through the first 15 minutes.
Goal shoot Sasha Glasgow continued her strong form for England with her crafty movement and ability to set up scoring opportunities from close range under the hoop. Dictating the pace of the game, the Roses were also able to slow the Silver Ferns attacking play.
Struggling with their second phase play, the Silver Ferns had a tussle on their hands when England headed to the first break with a 14-12 lead.
In quick smart time, the Silver Ferns had levelled the scores shortly after the resumption, a 6-2 start marking a resurgent fightback.
Greater defensive intent from the home side helped put the brakes on England’s attacking flow while the New Zealanders found more impetus and urgency in getting the ball goal-bound to help turn the tables.
England introduced Elle McDonald, at centre, and Alice Harvey, at goalkeeper, but the Silver Ferns went on to enjoy their best second quarter of the series. Captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio got through a big workload in setting up play while her young shooting partner continued her strong form to shoulder the bulk of the shooting.
The Silver Ferns pushed out to a five-goal advantage before the tenacious young England side struck back, the women in black holding their composure and making the most of their extra opportunities to table a 27-24 lead at the main break.
The momentum swings continued through a tense and pulsating third quarter. A 3-0 start for England helped the visitors square the ledger with a goal-for-goal stalemate following.
Ekenasio stepped up to play the steadying hand for the Silver Ferns while England shooters Glasgow and Neil were impressive performers through their poise and ability to nail their shots.
An individual piece of sideline brilliance from Silver Ferns wing defence Kate Heffernan, who was able to flick the ball back into court after a pulling off a one-handed intercept, broke the shackles. The added impetus helped the Silver Ferns keep their noses in front when retaining a slim 41-39 lead at the last turn.