England Roses, Commonwealth Games Champions, inspire the Nation

England Roses have been crowned Commonwealth Games champions for the first time in their history, after beating host nation Australia 52-51 in the gold medal final.

The Roses were playing in their first ever Commonwealth Games final, having beaten Jamaica with a last-second goal in Saturday’s semi-final, and there was late, late drama again as Helen Housby scored with no time left on the clock to win it for England.

It was the first time in five years that England had beaten the Diamonds, the number one ranked team in the world.

Head coach Tracey Neville said: “It’s my dream come true. The girls worked so hard over the last international phase. They were up against the world number one – they’re renowned and we’ve not beaten them once in the whole cycle I have been here. To beat them at that time is stupendous. I am just so really, really proud.”

Both teams came into the match unbeaten in their six games to reach the final – Australia topped Pool A, with five wins out of five, and England won Pool B with a 100% record.

England’s final group game, beating New Zealand, ensured they avoided the Diamonds in the semi-finals. That set up a tough semi against Jamaica, and it was Jo Harten’s last-second goal that put the Roses through to what looked a very steep task against the hosts in the gold-medal match.

This time though it was Housby who was the last-gasp hero, scoring the goal that wrote these Roses players’ names into the nation’s sporting history.

This incredible performance has captured the nation. With #GC2018Netball recently trending top on twitter and congratulations messages flooding in, England Netball hope that this can inspire every woman and girl to take to the court.

England Netball Development Director Fran Connolly enthused: “We are so proud of the England Roses and the role models that these girls have now become to women and girls across the country. Netball fever has truly gripped the nation and the response to the success has been incredible with a 2000% increase in traffic already to the part of our website that tells people where they can play. We look forward to supporting each and every interested individual to find a type of netball that suits them and continuing to build an inspiring Commonwealth Legacy”

England Netball promotes a range of opportunities to play. These include local clubs for adults and juniors, Back to Netball sessions for those who need a gentle reintroduction to the sport and Walking Netball for those keen to play a lower impact version of the game. More information can be found at the website https://www.englandnetball.co.uk/netball-sessions/.

This is a sport for everyone and there is certainly no better time to put on some trainers and give it a go!