Cook Islands took a giant step towards qualifying for the top eight with a hard-earned 45-43 win over Singapore on the third day of netball world championship in Auckland today.
It was no fairytale for Singapore, who were named as the hosts for the next netball world championships two days ago, but were unable to hold off the more physical Cook Islands in the closest game of the tournament so far.
Cook Islands take on Pacific rivals Fiji in their final Pool C match tomorrow, with a win needed to advance to the top-eight playoffs.
Singapore started brightly to lead 13-9 after the first quarter, missing just two shots at goal.
Cook Islands made some timely intercepts and with their hard-running midcourt making inroads led by captain Ritua Petero, they took the second quarter 12-7 and the halftime lead 21-20.
A 5-2 run late in the third quarter allowed Singapore back into the match and the lead 32-31.
The lead continued to swap throughout the final quarter, with Singapore twice fighting back after falling behind by three goals, until Cook Islands made a key intercept, converted the chance and held on for the two-goal win.