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Page last updated at 09:11 GMT, Thursday, 14 October 2010 10:11 UK

Commonwealth Games: England win bronze in netball

England celebrate netball bronze

England win netball bronze

England cruised past Jamaica 70-47 to win the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games on Thursday.

It was a convincing win for England, who were inspired by a superb display from goal shooter Louisa Brownfield.

Maggie Jackson's side took a 12-point lead into the final quarter and never looked like surrendering it.

New Zealand beat Australia 66-64 in sudden death overtime to win the gold medal after the two sides had been locked together 58-58 after extra-time.

It was one of the most sensational matches in netball history as the two sides who have dominated Commonwealth Games netball, having appeared in all three previous finals, put on a superb show.

New Zealand threw away the chance to win in normal time, allowing Australia to claw back a five-goal deficit in the final quarter to make it 47-47 at full-time.

New Zealand win netball gold

New Zealand win nail-biting netball final

A nail-biting extra-time could not separate the two fierce rivals, who continued to trade points in sudden death before New Zealand finally capitalised on a chance to seal the match and retain the Commonwealth title they won in Melbourne in 2006.

Victory over Jamaica was some consolation for England, who saw their gold medal hopes ended by Australia, courtesy of a 51-45 defeat in Tuesday's semi-final.

Sara Bayman, celebrating England's bronze, said: "It was a fantastic match. We were devastated when we lost against Australia but at least we made third position."

Stand-out defender Sonia Mkoloma said: "When we played New Zealand and Australia we thought we had them but we let ourselves down in the last six minutes of each game so we took a lot away from those games and gained composure for this match."

England led 15-14 at the end of a tight opening quarter, but quickly began to exert their authority on the match to open a gap.

JAMES PEARCE'S BLOG

England held a 33-23 lead at half-time thanks to the defensive agility and athleticism of Mkoloma and the attacking accuracy of Brownfield.

Jamaica initially rallied at the start of the third quarter to cut the deficit to eight but there was only brief respite for the Sunshine Girls as England reasserted their dominance to lead 50-38 heading into the final quarter.

England continued to impose themselves until the end to claim a deserved bronze medal.

The England players celebrated on court, holding a St George flag with "thank you India" written on it.



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see also
Commonwealth Games photos
14 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games


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