England are the 2017 Fast5 Netball World Series Champions after defeating Jamaica in the Grand Final decider.

In front of packed house at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena, England handed Jamaica their first loss of the tournament with the 34-29 and in doing so, claimed their maiden Fast5 Netball Championship.

The intensity rightly lifted from the two-team’s clash just hours earlier with the shooting tandem of Helen Housby and Jo Harten giving their side the perfect start, combining for 13 points to give England a nine-goal lead at the break.

Vangelee Williams was again strong in defence throughout the second for the Jamaicans which allowed shooters Jhaniele Fowler-Reid and Shanice Beckford plenty of opportunities with their power play advantage in play, but the duo could only combine for 12 points to go into the half with a 18-16 deficit.

Jamaica captain Fowler-Reid began the third quarter strongly, hitting consecutive shots but England held strong throughout with the run through centre court from player of the tournament, Serena Guthrie, providing the spark England needed heading into the last quarter with scores tied on 24 apiece.

The fourth and final quarter of the tournament was full of long-range attempts with both sides shooting to gain the advantage but it was a desperate effort from Helen Housby to intercept a ball following her two-point shot that turned the game in England’s favour and would see her side claim victory in the tournament’s most important game.

Jamaica, who made the decider following a fifth-place finish in 2016, battled hard all day with the cheers and applause from the crowd inside Hisense Arena showing the appreciation of both sides efforts post-match.

‘[Playing in the final] pretty amazing. Coming fifth last year was never on our agenda because we always come out to win. Coming out and playing for the gold medal this year is just so amazing.

‘We got to show how much work we’ve put in and from last year to this year we’ve improved a lot,’ said Fowler-Reid.

‘This is absolutely unbelievable. In modern netball, I don’t think England have ever won a gold medal so this is actually a gold to us,’ said Captain, Agbeze.

ENGLAND (34) defeated JAMAICA (29)

Jamaica shooting statistics

Shooter 1 point goal 2 point goal 3 point supershot
Jhaniele Fowler-Reid 10/10 5/11 0/3
Shanice Beckford 0/0 1/2 1/9
Rebekah Robinson 0/2 0/2 0/0


England shooting statistics

Shooter 1 point goal 2 point goal 3 point supershot
Natalie Haythornthwaite 1/1 0/0 0/0
Jo Harten 3/5 2/5 2/6
Rachel Dunn 1/1 0/1 1/2
Helen Housby 7/7 2/4 0/0


Jamaica starting five – GS: Jhaniele Fowler-Reid GA: Shanice Beckford C: Paula Thompson GD: Malysha Kelly GK: Stacian Facey

England starting five – GS: Jo Harten GA: Helen Housby C: Serena Guthrie GD: Ama Agbeze GK: Geva Mentor

Jamaica power play: quarter three
England power play: quarter four

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