A miracle super shot from Ellen Halpenny set New Zealand alight as they downed Australia 35-31 to retain their Fast5 netball world series title in Auckland on Sunday.
Halpenny sunk an unbelievable three-pointer right on the half-time whistle, barely a foot inside the goal third, to give the Kiwis a 15-10 lead at the break.
The Australians led 7-4 after the first quarter, but with Bailey Mes sinking three from four in the two-point zone, and Halpenny’s miracle bomb, New Zealand won the second quarter 11-3 and never looked back.
Australia managed to stay within reach of the Kiwis in their power play third quarter, limiting them to 12-5 in the six-minute spell as New Zealand took a 27-15 lead into the last quarter.
The Flyers struggled to make the most of their chances in the power play final quarter, Temalisi Fakahokotau, Kayla Cullen and Katrina Grant particularly impressive in the Kiwis’ defensive circle.
Erin Bell gave the Flyers a chance with some superb long-range shooting in the final quarter, sinking two from two three-pointers and one of her three two-point attempts, but New Zealand’s lead proved too much to overcome.
New Zealand were unbeaten in pool play, opening the two-day tournament with wins over Malawi and England before downing Australia 30-21 in their final match on Saturday.
They beat South Africa 34-25 and overwhelmed Jamaica 35-10 win in their final pool matches on Sunday to qualify top.
Australia downed Jamaica and South Africa before losing to New Zealand on Saturday, then had to work hard for a 35-33 win over Malawi after earlier beating England 31-24.
England pipped Jamaica 31-30 to finish third, while South Africa beat Malawi 30-22 in the play-off for fifth and sixth.