Natalie Haythornthwaite started as England repeated their Commonwealth Games final victory over Australia on Sunday at the Copper Box Arena.
However, it wasn’t enough to prevent Australia capturing the Quad Series title, in the final outing before the World Cup in Liverpool in the summer.
England needed to win by five to win their first Quad Series title, having beaten New Zealand last week, only to lose to South Africa on Saturday.
In the end, their 52-49 victory wasn’t quite enough, but Tracey Neville’s side showed again that they can beat the world number one team, as they did on the Gold Coast in dramatic fashion last year.
After the surprise defeat to South Africa, Neville started Natalie Haythornthwaite and Layla Guscoth ahead of Chelsea Pitman and Jade Clarke, but after an eight-goal swing, Australia went on to lead by five at the end of the first quarter.
England won the second period by eight to take a three-goal half-time lead.
The Roses pushed out into a six-goal lead early in the third quarter, but the match was poised at 41-37 with 15 minutes to play.
The final quarter saw both teams give everything, and with eight minutes to play, Australia moved back ahead before the Roses roared back to take the win.
Neville said: “To come out today and put the stellar performance in like we did was phenomenal.
“We have the momentum and it was a vital performance.
“Congratulations to Rachel Dunn, Fran Williams and Natalie Haythornthwaite - they waited all tour for that opportunity and punched it out.
“I’m so proud of all the girls.”