World Netball Series delight for England and Herts Mavericks star

HERTS Mavericks star Sasha Corbin has helped England to become only the second nation to win the World Netball Series following a sensational 33–26 victory over reigning champions New Zealand at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Sunday.

The 23-year-old, who plays for the Hatfield-based Mavericks, and her England team-mates delighted an enthusiastic crowd with a thrilling display of skill, determination and passion to overcome last year’s winners and claim their first ever major trophy.

After finishing fourth in the group stages, England claimed a convincing victory over Australia in the semi-finals setting up a final round game against the Silver Ferns from New Zealand.

The team’s accurate shooting, powerful defending and smooth passing throughout the final, coupled with their timely use of the Powerplay in the third quarter, saw captain Jade Clarke raise the winners’ trophy.

Anna Mayes, England’s head coach, was thrilled with her team’s performance.

She said: “I’m really delighted for the team that they’ve secured this confident win.

“Since we won the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games the girls have really pulled together to become a true force to be reckoned with – I feel this is the start of something special.”

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The World Netball Series was developed in 2008 to showcase Fast Net – a shortened version of the traditional game, similar to Twenty20 cricket or rugby sevens – to a wider netball audience and is completed for by the world’s top six nations; Australia, England, Fiji, Jamaica, New Zealand and South Africa.

The World Netball Championships are being held in Sydney in 2015 and Mayes believes this week’s win is a great step towards a great performance down under.

She said: “We are closer than ever to becoming world number one. I think we have to make sure we keep stepping forward, we have obviously raised the bar and expectations and the pressure is on us.”

The victorious England team comprised Jade Clarke (captain, Northern Mystics), Eboni Beckford-Chambers (West Coast Fever), Stacey Francis (Canterbury Tactix), Jo Harten (Canterbury Tactix), Pamela Cookey (Surrey Storm), Sasha Corbin (Hertfordshire Mavericks), Emma Dovey (Northern Thunder), Laura Malcolm (Northern Thunder), Kadeen Corbin (Team Bath), Sara Bayman (Northern Thunder), Serena Guthrie (Team Bath) and Rachel Dunn (Surrey Storm).

See Wednesday’s Welwyn Hatfield Times for an exclusive interview with England and Herts Mavericks star Sasha Corbin.