England’s netballers came into the bronze medal match against Jamaica at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex with a point to prove.
”We really wanted to come out today and prove we are still world class,” said goal attack Pamela Cookey.
And how they proved it, thumping Jamaica 70-47 to win the bronze.
It was a far cry from the dejected England team that walked off the court after being outshone by the Aussies in the semi-final and Cookey seemed almost as surprised as anyone at thewidth of the winning margin against a quality Jamaican side.
But from the moment England started pulling away at the beginning of the second period it was clear there would be no repeat of the desperately close bronze medal match the two teams played at the Melbourne Games, which England won 53-52.
From the base of four unanswered goal at the beginning of the second period, England built an unassailable lead to go in at half-time 33-23 up.
There were no signs of the three-quarter game which proved their undoing against the Kiwis in their pool match and the Aussies in the semis, as they powered through the third period to go into the final quarter of the game leading 50-38.
From there they did not look back as Jamaica capitulated to a superlative performance from the English women.
Co-captain and centre Karen Atkinson, who plays her club netball for Hertfordshire Mavericks, said the win was just desserts given the quality England had exhibited throughout the Delhi tournament.
Thirty-two year-old Atkinson, the only member of the team here who has played in all four Commonwealth Games to feature netball, said: “I didn’t think we expected to come away with that sort of score but it kind of reflected how we played all week. We played this like it was a gold medal match.”
No gold medal for England though as New Zealand and Australia fought out the final, teams England had beaten this year before coming to the Games.
Yet rather than thinking of what might have been, England now have huge momentum to take into November’s world series in Liverpool.