England netball coach Tracey Neville hails ‘dream come true’ Commonwealth gold (UK)
England netball coach Tracey Neville hailed a ‘dream come true’ as the national side were crowned Commonwealth Champions with a last-gasp goal.
The Bury-born former player, sister to United legends Gary and Phil Neville, coached the ladies national team to a stunning 52-51 victory over hosts and gold-medal favourites Australia on the final day of the games on the Gold Coast.
It is the first-ever Commonwealth gold in the sport to be won by an English team.
Helen Housby, the youngest player in Neville’s team, netted in the final second, sparking esctatic scenes, as the Roses did the unthinkable by knocking off the sport’s world number one.
Coach Neville, a former pupil of Bury’s Elton High, described the gold as a ‘dream come true’.
“What a moment. It’s a dream as a player and I’m living it as a coach through the eyes of these players,” she said.
“It was a remarkable performance – I think we could have won by more and taken the game in the first quarter but they’re World Champions and we’ll take any win.”
The English side came in as the underdog and Australia’s form had been ‘absolutely exceptional’, she said.
“We knew we had to put out the most cunning performance of our lives and we said ‘we’ve got nothing to lose,” the former England player added.
An earlier last-gasp goal by Jo Harten in Saturday’s defeat of Jamaica in the semi-finals sent the team into their first global final since 1975, after finishing in the last four at the previous five Commonwealth Games.
The odds were against them coming into the final against a strong host team, but they were determined not to settle for silver and the buzzer-beating last goal managed to clinch the gold.
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