England loss means New Zealand’s netball medal chances hang by thread
GOLD COAST (Reuters) – Jo Harten and Helen Housby were clinical in the shooting circle as England beat New Zealand 54-45 in their final Pool B game at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on Wednesday, leaving the Silver Ferns’ medal chances hanging by a thread.
The victory, built on a strong second and third quarter where Tracey Neville’s team outscored the two-times champions 28-22, was their first win over New Zealand in a major championship. It was also their largest victory margin.
The New Zealanders are on six points and now in danger of not qualifying for the semi-finals, having already been beaten 57-53 by Malawi, and could be forced to rely on goal percentage to advance.
Uganda, who are third in Pool B on four points, could still finish second if they beat Scotland heavily later on Wednesday.
The second-placed team in the pool will likely have to face world and Commonwealth champions Australia in the semi-finals.
The unbeaten Australians face Jamaica, who also have a 4-0 record, later on Wednesday for the top-spot in Pool A.
New Zealand have only ever finished first or second in the Commonwealth Games netball tournament since it was introduced at Kuala Lumpur in 1998.