Diamonds, England draw Quad Series clash

Australia have given up a six-goal lead at the final break to draw 48-48 with England in their Quad Series clash in London.

STACEY MARINKOVICH.
STACEY MARINKOVICH. Picture: Will Russell/Getty Images

England's mission to "disrupt the world order of netball" is well on track as the Roses came from six goals behind to draw with the Diamonds in London.

Helen Housby's goal for the hosts on the final play of the game secured a 48-48 draw at Copper Box Arena, setting up a tantalising rematch in Thursday's (AEDT) Quad Series final.

It came after a series of slip-ups at the death from Australia, who had led 38-32 at the final break and by two goals inside the final minute.

Diamonds coach Stacey Marinkovich lamented two costly turnovers in the final 70 seconds, as well as a missed shot on goal that would have sealed the result.

But she said Australia's restarts, after leading by three, four and six goals at each turn, would be the focus ahead of Thursday's final.

"Just the momentum shifts; we need to improve our starts in each of the quarters, we let England in early," she said.

"This is what we're over here to do; (play) games with this sort of pressure and there's some vital lessons to be learned."

Housby's heroics dredged up memories of her go-ahead goal to clinch a dramatic upset over the hosts in the 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medal game.

That win on the Gold Coast came after England were four goals behind late in the game and set them in motion for a gold medal defence in Birmingham later this year.

The teams were already assured a Quad Series final date after both had beaten New Zealand and South Africa earlier in the week.

While some cat-and-mouse unfolded with line-up changes, there was still a finals-like intensity and physicality in the prelude to a high-stakes clash less than a day later.

"These two would kill me if I said it wasn't important," England coach Jess Thirlby said, while seated next to her players Eleanor Cardwell and Serena Guthrie.

"The thing that impresses me the most about this group is their character and refusing to lose.

"We're trying to disrupt the world order of netball here and this group is so robust, mentally more than anything.

"It's important ... heading towards Birmingham."

Sarah Klau helped Australia to a 5-0 intercept count at halftime as they seemingly had all the answers each time the Roses drew level.

But their late stumble sets up an intriguing final against the hosts in what will be the Diamonds' last game before a likely Commonwealth Games rematch later this year.

Australia captain Liz Watson played her 50th Test, the mid-courter rested against South Africa as she continues her comeback from foot surgery.

"I don't think we got caught up in the emotion of the game," Watson said.

"The beauty is we're back here tomorrow ... you just want to get out there right now and play again."