Laura Geitz in action for the Australian Diamonds in their win against South Africa last night.
Laura Geitz in action for the Australian Diamonds in their win against South Africa last night.

Geitz and Diamonds take step towards netball semis

LAURA Geitz played two quarters at goal keeper as the Australian Diamonds took a significant step towards securing a major semi-final berth at the Netball World Cup with a 66-31 win against South Africa in the qualification round.

The 35-goal victory at Allphones Arena lifts the Diamonds into top spot of Pool F with one match to play in the qualification rounds to determine the two teams that will advance to the semi finals against the top two sides from Pool E on Saturday.

Geitz, a former Allora junior and Warwick fixture player, had two rebounds, three intercepts and one deflection while on the court.

A career-best shooting performance by Erin Bell at international level was the highlight of what was a clinical performance by the Diamonds.

In a brilliant performance, Bell finished with 33 goals at 94 per cent accuracy in her first ever full game for Australia.

At the opposite end of the court, Sharni Layton was a dominant figure firstly at goal keeper and then at goal defence. She had an equal game-high seven intercepts along with five deflections and grabbed eight rebounds.

Alexander shuffled her midcourt and defence to start the second half with Kim Ravaillion given a well-deserved spell, Renae Hallinan taking over the centre bib and captain Laura Geitz coming onto the court at goal keeper.

Australia led by 33 goals at three-quarter time and South Africa enjoyed its most productive period of the match in the last term to avoid its lowest ever score against Australia at the Netball World Cup.

But the Diamonds maintained their 100 per cent winning record over the Proteas and also secured their second biggest victory against South Africa in their fifth Netball World Cup meeting.

Australia's final match of the qualification round is on Friday night against Wales at Allphones Arena in what will be the two countries first Netball World Cup meeting in 24 years.

In a surprise result, New Zealand was held to a 57-49 win by Malawi.



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