Australia has claimed the silver medal at the 2013 World Youth Netball Championships after going down to New Zealand 52-47 in the final at Emirates Arena in Glasgow on Sunday.
New Zealand, crowned underage world champions for the third time, held off a second half comeback to win their first title since 2005.
After leading by as many as eight goals in the second quarter, New Zealand saw their advantage disappear after half-time as Australia got to within a goal.
The reigning champions settled first to lead 10-8 before New Zealand scored seven consecutive goals midway through the opening quarter which left Australia chasing for the remainder of the final.
Cheap turnovers from the Australians and sharp shooting from shooters Malia Paseka and Te Paea Selby-Rickit helped New Zealand to a 17-12 lead at quarter-time.
A shuffle at the defensive end did little to stem the flow of scoring as the Kiwis extended their advantage to eight goals before the Australians struck back with three straight goals after an injury time out to trail by six at half-time.
Australia picked up where they left off after the break as momentum remained in their favour as four goals cut the deficit to 32-30 courtesy of some sharp long range shooting from Cody Lange.
The game looked destined to be a thriller after a timely rebound from Jo Weston in defence led to Kristina Brice bring the Australians to within one, 35-34, late in the third quarter – it would be as close as they got.
New Zealand added to their 41-36 three-quarter time lead early in the final term before the Australians turned to the bench and introduced Gretel Tippett at goal attack while Lange moved to goal shooter.
The change sparked energy into Australia’s final quarter fight back but time became the enemy.
It was too little too late as New Zealand hung on for a five-goal victory – a record winning margin over Australia at the World Youth Netball Championships.
Australia’s Kimberley Ravaillion was named Player of the Championship following the match.
“We gave it everything we possibly could, we just didn’t get enough turnovers today and convert as well as we needed to,” Australian coach Carol Byers said.
“It was about making sure we treasured the ball and getting it through the ring but it just didn’t work out for us today.”
Captain Maddy Proud said the defeat will provide motivation.
“It’s shattering because this day has been in the making for three years, we’ve dreamt about it for so long, it’s surreal, I don’t think it has sunk in yet that it’s all over,” Proud said.
“I’m so proud of the girls, they gave everything they had but New Zealand were just a better team on the day, I congratulate them for that, but I think this will be one of those games that we’ll never forget and make sure it never happens again.”
New Zealand (51) defeated Australia (47)
New Zealand shooting stats:
Malia Paseka 31/43 (72%)
Te Paea Selby-Rickit 21/22 (95%)
Australia shooting stats:
Kristina Brice 29/33 (88%)
Cody Lange 11/18 (61%)
Gretel Tippett 7/7 (100%)