Reply To: HISTORY OF THE NETBALL WORLD CUP2020-05-13T22:55:42+10:00
Avatar photoIan Harkin
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    1991 in Sydney was the time and place when the whole perception of netball seemingly changed for the better. The competition went from being a quaint, amateur style event to something far more professional and popular. For a start, the name was changed and so this was now known as the 8th World Championships.

    The event also moved indoors on a wooden floor for the first time, after 28 years of playing outside on asphalt and in all sorts of weather. And finally… a final. Incredible to think it took this long to introduce a final (and semi finals) to the world’s premier netball event, but that’s the case. And what a final it was. It was a match for the ages and a real turning point for the sport.

    A then world record crowd of over 10,000 turned up to watch the final between Australia and New Zealand. The game was also shown live on television, a first in Australia. The Silver Ferns held a slight advantage for much of the game, and in fact led by one goal at every change.

    The last quarter was gripping. Thanks to some nerveless shooting from Vicki Wilson, Australia grabbed the lead late in the game. New Zealand captain Wai Taumaunu, playing in her third and last world cup, then intercepted brilliantly and sent the ball toward the Kiwi shooting circle, only for Roselee Jencke to take an intercept of her own and seal the game for Australia 53-52.

    It was an exciting climax to a groundbreaking tournament which raised the profile of netball in Australia, especially with Australia’s sports loving Prime Minister Bob Hawke in attendance. And it was another triumph for coach Joyce Brown who ended her world cup career undefeated.

    Jamaica also played very well during the tournament and beat England 63-54 to finish third. One of their players, Janet Johnson, along with Northern Ireland’s Elizabeth Rodgers, played in their fifth and final world cup.


    From INF

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