Fast5 Ferns stroll into final against England

BEN STANLEY
Last updated 16:37 11/11/2012

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New Zealand have sealed a spot in the final of the Fast5 Netball World Series, demolishing Jamaica 52-18 at the Vector Arena in Auckland.

Shooters Anna Thompson and Maria Tutaia were the pick of the bunch for the Fast5 Ferns' - who will now meet England in the final at 7.30pm.

The hosts, who were unbeaten in round robin play in the tournament, leapt out to an impressive 14-6 lead after the first quarter, coming off the back of some assertive early shooting by Tutaia and Bailey Mes.

The dominance continued in the second quarter, with Jamaica rarely looking like being able to haul in the growing Fast Ferns lead that extended to 13 points at the half.

Thompson was particularly eye-catching as the match continued, draining a number of two-pointers.

Jamaica, who have looked out of sorts throughout the tournament, had little to offer in resistance; with star shooter Jhaniele Fowler even struggling to find the net throughout. Their defence began to fall to pieces with New Zealand captain Laura Langman bossing the mid-court.

The Fast5 Ferns would take their ''power-play'' in the third quarter, and pulled clear to a gaping 44-16, before closing the match out with a strong finish in the game's final six minutes, restricting the visitors to only two points in their ''power-play.''

England booked their place in the final after by beating South Africa 39-15 in the other semifinal.

England were dominant throughout, proving they will be good adversaries for the Fast Ferns in the final. They made the unusual move of taking their ''power-play'' in the second quarter, but made it count, scoring 18 points.

South Africa had only just sneaked through to the semis, after winning an effective quarter-final against African rivals Malawi yesterday. Yet they never looked like threatening the English, and will now match up against Jamaica in the playoff for third and fourth.

Australia, who are yet to win a game in the tournament, will also take on Malawi to determine who finishes fifth and sixth.

The final will take place at 7.30 this evening.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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