This was never supposed to happen. Whichever way you looked at it, England were just not meant to win.
There was the weight of history, the lack of experience, the inferior funding, the recent results, the head-to-head record and about ten-dozen other reasons why Australia were going to triumph in this Commonwealth Games final.
Somehow, and it will take some time for the players to understand precisely how it happened, they did not. Confronted by the most formidable opponents in the sport, England pulled off the unthinkable and they did so in the most dramatic fashion possible.
Incredibly, just as it had in their semi-final victory over Jamaica, it came down to one shot and one second – the final second of a pulsating 60-minute match that made light of predictions that reigning world and Commonwealth champions Australia would retain their title with ease.
There had been nothing to choose between the two sides throughout until, with the score level at 51-51 and the clock reading 59 minutes and 59 seconds, the fate of both teams rested with England's Helen Housby, standing under the post with ball in hand.
Growing up and rising through the ranks as a promising goal shooter, Housby had dreamed about such moments. But in the final second against Australia, in their own back yard and in England's first ever Commonwealth Games final? Surely some dreams are never meant to become reality.
This one did. Beating the full-time buzzer, Housby scored and with it secured England netball's greatest ever triumph.
"This is the best day of my life and it's the best day of all these girls lives," said an elated Housby.
"It happened to fall our way that we had an intercepted pass and the rest of it's a blur. I just remember having the ball in my hands and then running away screaming.
"To score the winning goal in the final against Australia in the last second – every single box has been ticked. I'm just so happy."
Just by making it to the final, England had broken down a barrier that had existed since the advent of the sport.
Every previous Commonwealth Games gold medal match had been contested by Australia and New Zealand – two nations for whom netball is a totally different beast to anywhere else in the world.
The leagues in those two countries are professional and their players are so revered that they star in television adverts. It is a far cry from the amateur world of the Superleague, England's premier netball competition.
Despite a cavernous gap in finances and coverage afforded to both sides, for 60 minutes at the Coomera Indoor Sports Centre on Sunday they were equals.
Indeed, for almost the entirety of the match there was nothing to split them. Australia led by one after the first quarter, but England had leveled to 25-25 by half-time.
Cheered on by a sea of gold and green in the 8,000-strong crowd, Australia then began to assert their dominance in the second half. Their lead stretched to four at the start of the final quarter, but just as it looked like the match had swung one way, England fought back to gain parity a few minutes later.
Then came the moment that will be replayed for many years to come. Jo Harten's missed shot landed fortunately into Housby's hands and the England goal shooter took aim. She too missed, but the umpire's whistle sounded and a penalty was awarded against the Australian defence. Housby was not going to let the second opportunity slip through her grasp.
It was a triumph that had been two decades in the making for head coach Tracey Neville, who won Commonwealth bronze as a player in 1998.
"What a moment," she said. "It was my dream as a player and I'm living it as a coach though these players' eyes.
"The form Australia had in this tournament was absolutely exceptional. We knew we had to put out the most clinical performance of our lives today and we just basically said we've got nothing to lose."
The question now is what effect this victory will have on netball in England.
Coming off the back of Britain's hockey success at the Rio Olympics and England winning the cricket World Cup last year, this Commonwealth Games gold medal continues an upward curve for the nation's female sports teams.
With netball already near the top of participation tables among Britain's young women, Neville hopes this triumph will help it grow even further.
"Hopefully this will give people inspiration to go out and join a club and be part of this dream," she said.
"We went down to watch the women win the cricket World Cup and obviously we will go to the hockey.
"What we're trying to do is generate a women in sport multiple support system so we can cross over the sports and increase revenue and spectator and participation levels.
"Netball has been part of my life since I was five. I want to give back to the sport whichever way I can. If that gold medal gives people that get-up and will to go then I've done my job."