England saved their best until last as they overcome a strong Jamaica side 66-44 to take bronze at the Netball World Cup in Sydney.
Having missed out on the chance to bid for gold following a semi-final defeat to eventual runners up New Zealand, Tracey Neville’s England were desperate not to leave Australia empty handed.
Unfortunately they got off to a slow start and trailed the Sunshine Girls by five goals at the end of the first quarter.
But the introduction of experienced defender Sonia Mkoloma, playing in her fifth World Cup, helped settle the nerves and they ended the first half 28-23 up.
That helped set the tone for the rest of the match and with wing defence Serena Guthrie playing a starring role as well as some sharp shooting from Jo Harten under the posts, Engalnd brushed aside their rivals to match the third-place finish they achieved at the last tournament in Singapore in 2011.
Victory over Jamaica also went some way to avenging last year’s Commonwealth Games heartbreak where they missed out on bronze against the same opponents – a result that saw a number of behind the scenes changes including Neville coming in as interim coach for the World Cup.
And while the team was understandably disappointed to miss out on the final – hosts Australia eventually clinching their 11th title with victory over New Zealand – Neville was delighted with the way her team had bounced back.
“It was hard to get them motivated, but we got behind each other,” she said.
“They've always had my back, and I've always had their's. I think we showed that today.
"It clicked. They seemed to find that drive that they've been lacking. They did me proud."
© Sportsbeat 2015