20 Sep 2012

Silver Ferns take Constellation Cup

9:44 pm on 20 September 2012

The Silver Ferns won the Constellation Cup for the first time with a thrilling 50-49 victory over Australia in the second test at Auckland's Vector Arena on Thursday night.

It was New Zealand's first victory in a netball series against Australia in eight years.

The sold-out crowd of more than 8500 people, a record for a netball match in New Zealand, cheered on the home team to a narrow win to clinch the series two-nil with a game to spare.

The Silver Ferns came out firing and raced to a seven-point lead at the end of the first quarter on the back of perfect shooting from Irene Van Dyke and Maria Tuitia, who missed just three goals between them all evening.

By half-time that lead had increased to 31-19 with wing defence Anna Harrison and goal keep Catrina Grant a constant thorn in the Diamonds' side with multiple turnovers.

The Australian fightback then began in a tense fourth quarter as they slashed the Ferns lead to just three goals.

The crowd did their best to lift New Zealand, who quashed the Australian uprising and take the test by one point,