England v New Zealand, Netball.

England v New Zealand, Netball.

, 1 min reading time

After narrow defeats, in the first two tests against New Zealand, the England Netball squad will be hopeful of winning the third on Thursday evening. Having lost the first two, both by 2 points, the margin between the teams has obviously narrowed. If England can get off to a better start, they can surely compete and give New Zealand something to think about. The first game saw England trail by 4 at the end of the first quarter. That got worse though as they fell back even further in the third, with the Silver Ferns leading by 7. The final quarter saw a remarkable fightback from England, that had New Zealand grateful to hear the final whistle, winning 42 - 40. England were optimistic of a better performance in Mondays, 2nd Test but again got off to a dreadful start. Unable to retain possession and conceding too many fouls early on and they were quickly trailing by 9 at the end of the initial quarter. England's hope of continuing where they left off, from the 1st test, final quarter were left in tatters. They needed to produce something special, once again. They grafted hard and had reduced the deficit to 9 by the time the last 15 minutes were on the clock. The Commonwealth champions were clearly not going to allow England back into the game this time.......were they. Oh yes, a spirited finale had New Zealand rattled and desperately hanging on to a narrow lead but, England once again failed by 2 going down 41 - 39. Two England stars worth special mention, were Jo Harten and Sonia Mkoloma. Coming off the bench, Jo had an astonishing strike rate of 92% (22 from 24) and Sonia, ably assisted by her team mates, restricted the Silver Ferns to just 5 goals from 8 attempts. So, hopes are high for the final test but, England must start better and not allow New Zealand to build a lead of 5 points or more. Another big Netball crowd of 5000 is expected, most will be hoping for England to pull the Fiat series back to 2 - 1.

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