England Netball

England mid-courter Jade Clarke won her 150th cap as the Roses stunned home favourites Australia on Sunday to make history and be crowned Commonwealth Games champions.

The 34-year-old came on in the final quarter as Tracey Neville’s side sealed a 52-51 victory thanks to a last-second penalty from Helen Housby.

But Clarke admits reaching the milestone was the last thing on her mind when she took to court in Sunday’s gold-medal match at the Coomera Indoor Sports Centre.

She said: “I wasn’t thinking about that at all but it’s just the most amazing cherry on top isn’t it?!

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“You just can’t beat a gold medal – this is what I’ve been thinking about since I was 9 years old playing netball and we’ve done it.

“It’s incredible to have all the support here. In the other games, I felt like the Australian crowd were so loud cheering against us and in that one all I could hear were our crowd – it was just fantastic.

“Saturday (semi-final) and Sunday (final) would no doubt top off the 150 caps – you just can’t beat it.”

Clarke has been an integral member of the England national team since 2003, making her senior debut against New Zealand.

During her international career so far, Clarke has competed in a number of international competitions, has won two World Netball Championship Bronze medals and also took the 2011 FastNet World Netball Series Gold Medal with England as captain.

She was named as the captain of England after the retirement of Karen Atkinson after the 2011 Netball World Championships.

Her long and illustrious career was rewarded with being inducted into the England Netball Hall of Fame in September 2014.

Roses mid-courter Clarke became the most capped England netballer of all time as she took to the court for the 129th time as the Roses defeated South Africa 57-44 in September 2016.

She helped England to a whitewash victory over Malawi in a three-match Vitality Netball International Series in November 2017 and was then part of the squad who secured their best-ever finish in the Netball Quad Series.

And now she’s achieved a lifelong dream in winning gold – England’s first ever at a major championships – at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Follow us on TwitterInstagram and Facebook for more, and if you have been inspired by the Roses and want to get back to playing netball, you can find a session near you here.

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