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England win netball gold at the Commonwealth Games in a dramatic final

England win netball gold at the Commonwealth Games in a dramatic final

Netball, bloody hell. Tracey Neville's England won Commonwealth Games gold with a last-gasp win over world champions Australia which was reminiscent of her brothers' Champions League win 19 years ago.

"This is the best day of my life and it's the best day of all these girls lives", said an elated Housby. We just live, eat and breathe sport.

"The momentum went in my favour, I think he was kind of down on himself".

After the 2015 World Cup, where England finished third following another semi-final defeat, praise and criticism has followed, but Neville's commitment to the "cycle", whether losing to South Africa or beating New Zealand in New Zealand, has been unwavering.

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.

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.

Harten and Housby were unerring in shooting at goal, but Australia wrested back the initiative to take a one-point lead at the interval. Housby was not going to let the second opportunity slip through her grasp.




It wasn't just the 63 Aussie para-athletes swooping on 15 golds that elevated the goodwill but competitors like blind para-sprinter Ananias Shikongo, who took inclusion to another level as Namibia's flag-bearer at the opening ceremony. "It was a dream as a player and I'm living it as a coach though these players' eyes".

However, by nightfall he was on Sky News telling another former Queensland premier Campbell Newman Australia was "bigger than this".

"They did get it wrong, but for all the people blowing up, I know you're doing it as a sign of kindness and respect, but I will blow up when it's needed".

The question now is what effect this victory will have on netball in England.

England finished the Commonwealth Games with a final medal tally of 136, including 45 gold, second in the table to Australia, while Wales won 36 with 10 golds and Scotland took 44 total medals, nine of them gold.

A 44 per cent increase in participation in 2017, with women young and old playing more and more, is going hand-in-hand with an expanding Superleague competition and blossoming pathways, development and Academy programmes. "The changes yesterday and today were key to us winning". I want to give back to the sport whichever way I can. Crucially she has also trusted those who have been in the system for a long time to prosper in the new era, and prosper they have with the most spectacular of gold medals.


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