Exhausted Silver Ferns head home

7:40 pm on 15 October 2010

An exhausted but elated Silver Ferns netball side are on their way home after gold medal heroics on Thursday night at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

The Silver Ferns beat Australia 66-64 after two periods of extra time.

Coach Ruth Aitken says they have had no sleep, with the closing ceremony straight after their game and then having to head back to the athletes village to pack for their flight home.

She says the match and the hours afterwards have been an emotional rollercoaster.

Aitken says she thought the gold medal had slipped from their grasp when the Silver Ferns blew a seven-goal lead in the final quarter.

They clawed their way back from five goals down to establish a seven-point lead during the final quarter but surrendered that with the two sides locked at 47-all at fulltime.

It was 58-all after extra time, when it came down to the first team to establish a two-goal lead, which the Silver Ferns eventually managed, winning 66-64.

The Silver Ferns win secured New Zealand's sixth gold medal of the Games.

New Zealand leaves the Delhi Games with 36 medals, five more than it got at Melbourne in 2006.