England have won the Cadbury Netball Series after beating New Zealand 49-45 in Christchurch.
This is the first time the Vitality Roses have ever won a series on New Zealand soil – after pulling back a ten-goal deficit in the second half.
The three-Test series was exclusive to just England and the Silver Ferns, who were battling it out for the Taini Jamison Trophy.
New Zealand took control of the Cadbury Series immediately by winning the first Test 48-42 on Monday.
After a two-day break, the teams faced each other again for the second instalment of the competition, where the world champions found themselves struggling to keep a resilient England at bay.
The Roses went into the second half fighting and dished out a winning margin of ten goals, with the final score 55-45 to Jess Thirlby’s side. At 1-1, it all came down to the final Test on Friday morning.
England would draw on their inspired performance in the last Test of the series. As they headed into the third quarter, they were trailing by ten goals. New Zealand looked to have one hand on the trophy.
However, leaving absolutely nothing out on the court, the Roses managed to pull off an astonishing comeback, closing the ten-goal gap and giving themselves a four-goal lead by the final whistle.
Thirlby and her team were beyond delighted with their historic achievement – so much so that captain Serena Guthrie was attacked with confetti by her teammates during her post-match interview.
“To come back from ten goals against a classy side like New Zealand is huge for an England team,” she said after peeling streams of confetti off herself.
Guthrie then admitted it was in fact 22-year-old George Fisher who “inspired the team” as she led the half-time talk and urged her teammates to keep pushing for the comeback.
“Fair play to her, to be such a young player willing to step up, take the team talk and send us out there firing. So I think we can thank George for that one.”