Silver Ferns set up golden clash with Australia

By David Leggat

The Silver Ferns eased by Jamaica 59-43 in their semifinal match. Photo / Getty Images
The Silver Ferns eased by Jamaica 59-43 in their semifinal match. Photo / Getty Images

Silver Ferns captain Casey Williams wants a second Commonwealth Games gold medal, "just to be greedy".

She'll get her chance when New Zealand square off against fierce rivals Australia in the netball final on Thursday after both won contrasting semifinals.

New Zealand eased past an up-and-down Jamaica 59-43, while Australia saw off a gallant England 51-45.

New Zealand won the title four years ago in Melbourne. Goal defender Williams remembers it vividly.

"I was still the baby in the team," she said.

"I'd never take it back but I want to do it all over again. Leading this team is something special and to be able to have that gold medal in my hands would be totally satisfying."

New Zealand had to work hard in the first half to get on top of Jamaica, who began well, utilising the long overhead pass to beanpole goal shoot Romelda Aiken.

But once they had established a seven-goal advantage at halftime, 32-25, the Silver Ferns kept well clear as Jamaica became frustrated and lost their game plan.

"We didn't have the start we would have liked but we knew Jamaica would come out firing at the start. We had to keep grinding those turnovers and the extra shots we had put us ahead in the end," Williams said.

Goal shoot Irene van Dyk had a perfect record from 32 attempts, although missing a couple which were re-shot for defensive infringements by Jamaica, while Maria Tutaia, who nailed some spectacular long range efforts, shot 27 from 36.

Australia trailed England by two at halftime and only edged away in the final quarter.

"We had a get out of jail free card," Australian shooter Natalie Medhurst said.

"We were very nervous, probably more nervous for this game than we will be for the gold medal match. But we know the areas in which we need to improve."

- NZ Herald

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