Commonwealth Games: England’s netball and women’s rugby 7s triumph whilst 2018 sees a fairly disappointing year overall
England netballers claim gold in dramatic showdown
England‘s netballers impressed crowds by sweeping gold from favourites Australia. Their journey to the netball gold-medal final has not been without a challenge as they came back in a nail-bitingly close semi-final against Jamaica to win 56-55.
The tension and stakes were even higher in the final, with world number 1 Australia’s home crowd fiercely behind them – but Tracey Neville’s side tenaciously fought back, pulling level 51-51 and overturning a 3 point deficit. It was Helen Housby’s final goal that sealed the victory, ending the match 52-51. Neville said of the feat:
‘It’s a dream come true – the girls have worked so hard over the last international phase.’
The match made history, as this was the first time since netball was introduced at the 1998 Games, that the final did not feature both Australia and New Zealand.
England take Bronze at Women’s Rugby 7s debut at Commonwealth Games
As women’s rugby 7s made its debut at the Commonwealth Games, there was additional pressure on all teams to make history as the first to claim the first ever gold in the sport. England managed to grab a podium position, bringing home a Bronze medal after beating Canada 24-19. England managed to dominate the possession throughout the match and scored 4 tries, with one coming from Cornish-born Deborah Fleming.
Captain Abbie Brown said of their opponents ‘Canada are a great team and we knew they were going to bring us something and that is good for us as it tested us – to come out here and get a medal is just an amazing feeling’.
Despite these successes, this year’s Commonwealth Games were actually England’s second worst over the 21 editions, with only 16.2% of the medals available won. Correspondent and American eight-time champion Michael Johnson told BBC Sport:
‘Most athletes aren’t used to running multiple rounds in April’.
However, Australia’s media have not held back regarding this fact, calling England’s performance ‘woeful’.