16 Oct 2008

Silver Ferns stumble against England

10:06 am on 16 October 2008

England's netballers have levelled their three test series with a 40-38 win over New Zealand in Dunedin, two days after being thrashed 65-26 in Auckland.

A high number of turnovers, a low 70 percent shooting percentage, and a new-look starting side saw the Silver Ferns stumble to only their third loss in 69 games against England.

Coach Ruth Aitken gave shooter Daneka Wipiiti her first start in six years with Maree Bowden at goal attack and Katrina Grant at goal defence.

But with Geva Mentor back at goal keep, England stayed in touch through the first half , forcing Aitken to bring on Laura Langman at wing attack and Sheryl Scanlan at goal defence.

The Silver Ferns led 21-17 at half-time but England started with five unanswered goals.

A heavier penalty count against the Silver Ferns defenders and a lack of movement in the shooting circle and timing outside it proved costly.

The introduction of Maria Tutaia at goal attack for the fourth quarter restored the first Test starting line-up but it wasn't enough so the series decider will be decidced in Palmerston North on Saturday night.