New Zealand defended their Netball World Youth Cup title after beating rivals Australia 60-57 in a tense final played at the UB Indoor Sports Centre on Sunday evening. The two teams played in front of a sold out crowd.
The game started on a high note with both sides trying to find their feet in the match. The Aussies were first to draw blood just under the first 30 seconds. Australia took total control of the quarter as they took a three goal lead to the first break with the score at 17-14.
In the second quarter, New Zealand tried to get back into the game and resorted to quick transitional play, opening their opponents’defence. Both teams however, showed below par conversion rate. Silver Ferns reduced the deficit to only a goal as the Aussies edged the second quarter 27-26.
Silver Ferns continued with their good play in the third quarter taking full control of the game. The team showed enough character to try long shots as their opponents superbly
New Zealand went ahead for the first time as they took a 45-41 lead after the third quarter. In the last quarter, Australia showed signs of heavy hands as they tried to reduce the gap and possibly take the lead. The team was let down by their shooting as they had to settle for rebounds on several occasions.
Their opponents kept it tight at the back as they held a three goal margin until the final whistle. This was the fifth final meeting between the two teams and the Silver Ferns won it for the fourth time, in the process eqaulling the Aussies record for most wins.