England have pulled off one of the great upsets of the Commonwealth Games, taking home the gold medal in netball after beating the Aussie Diamonds by a single goal in Sunday’s heart-stopping final.
With the scores locked at 51-51 with just seconds left, England’s Joanne Harton converted a penalty shot after the clock had run down to take home the gold medal.
In an interview after the match, Australian captain Caitlin Bassett struggled to comprehend the loss.
“We’re obviously pretty gutted, it still doesn’t feel real. We obviously had an amazing run into this game and have such an amazing team but things just didn’t fall our way tonight and credit to England, who wanted it,” Bassett told Channel 7 after the match.
She added the message to her teammates upon the siren sounding was one of pride:
“To hold our heads high, we didn’t play bad netball out there, they just played great netball as well and I think for the fans to see the dogged, hard, one-on-one style was fantastic for them but obviously we wish the result was a little different.
“It’s not failure to us and it’s not going to define us,” she said.
The Channel 7 commentary team were in as much shock as the players, with one commentator noting “the entire nation [is] in disbelief” and with former Australian netballer Catherine Cox, who called the match, declaring she was “in tears”.
The Diamonds had an almost-perfect run into the final, having not dropped a single quarter all tournament.
It’s the first time since 1998, when netball became a sport in the Commonwealth Games, that a team other than Australia or New Zealand contested the gold medal match.