Taini Jamison Trophy clean sweep for Silver Ferns
The Silver Ferns completed a Taini Jamison Trophy clean sweep after posting a 62-47 win over the England Roses in the Cadbury Netball Series finale in Hamilton on Sunday.
Following 13 and seven goal wins in the first two Tests, the Silver Ferns saved their best until last in the 100th Test between the pair since they first met in 1963 before going on to notch their 87th win.
The third Test provided the Silver Ferns opportunities to develop combinations and personnel in their final outing of the year.
Claire Kersten, Karin Burger and Kelly Jury got their first starts of the series for the Silver Ferns at centre, wing defence and goalkeeper, respectively. For England, the well-performed duo of George Fisher and Sophie Drakeford-Lewis got the starting bibs in the shooting circle.
Grabbing her opportunity, the 1.92m Jury made the most of it with an impressive start, her long limbs being a valuable asset in disrupting the opposing shooters. Showing greater impetus on attack than their previous outings got the Silver Ferns away to a smooth start with heir speed and strong ball movement.
However, as they have done throughout the series, England showed their resilience to get back on even terms. It was an arm wrestle for the rest of the stanza, England showing plenty of patience to stay in the contest as both defensive ends provided turnover opportunities.
With shooters Maia Wilson and captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio completing a clean sheet, the Silver Ferns edged to a 12-10 lead at the first break.
With both defensive ends continuing their strong work, the to-and-fro continued on the resumption. Silver Ferns defender Jane Watson sprung into life in getting her hands to more ball while Burger was a constant and disruptive influence.
At the other end, goalkeeper Razia Quashie tracked play well to pick off four intercepts during the half while centre Laura Malcolm was a workhorse through the midcourt for the Roses.
Eleanor Cardwell and Yasmin Parsons were introduced at goal shoot and wing attack respectively with five minutes to go while midcourt dynamo Whitney Souness came on in the pivot’s position for the Silver Ferns.
That coincided with a strong late surge from the Silver Ferns, the accuracy and poise of Wilson, who missed just the one shot in a 19 from 20 return for the half, pushing out to a 26-19 lead at the main break.
England made a number of changes through a momentum-swinging third stanza after the Silver Ferns got away to a flyer. Scoring 10 goals in the first five minutes, the flood gates looked set to open for the home side before England made a concerted surge of their own.
Vicki Oyesola made a strong impact at goal defence while Malcolm’s return to the midcourt also worked in the visitors’ favour as England forced the New Zealanders into a rash of turnovers. Scoring seven goals on the trot helped the Roses regain some parity.
Kersten, in the Silver Ferns midcourt, was in the thick of action throughout, cutting an impressive figure with her fine feeding, control and workload while Watson continued to be a forceful presence as the home side regained control when leading 45-35 at the last break.
Newest Silver Fern Monica Falkner got her second cap when playing out the last nine minutes of the match, posting her first international goal in the process. Wilson completed a dominant series with another inspiring outing when slotting her equal highest individual test score when converting 44 from 47 for the match.