The Vitality Roses missed out on a bronze medal at the Fast5 Netball World Series in Christchurch after they were beaten 25-39 by New Zealand in the third-place play-off.
After both anthems, the game got up and running with Lois Pearson opening the scoring for the Vitality Roses. The teams went toe to toe in the opening stages before Emma Thacker landed back-to-back two pointers in the power play to put England 8-3 up. It was Georgia Heffernan who had the last word of the quarter though, sinking a four pointer to cut the Vitality Roses' lead to just one (8-7).
New Zealand started the second quarter strongly - a flying Elle Temu intercept was converted followed by miscommunication between England teammates letting Aliyah Dunn in again as they turned the game on its head (10-17). The Vitality Roses kept plugging away though and managed to reduce the gap to two (15-17) at the half-time break.
The third quarter was another close and hotly-contested period with New Zealand just edging it (7-9) as they limited England's opportunities to lead 22-26 with six minutes remaining.
Heffernan and Dunn were clinical in converting their chances to give their side a healthy but not unassailable 10-point lead as the final power play commenced. With the clock and scoreboard against them, the Vitality Roses were forced to go for the big shots but unfortunately they didn't drop in.
Thank you to everyone involved with Netball New Zealand for hosting a fantastic two days of competition.