Natalie shines in Fast5 final

Barrowford's Natalie Haythornthwaite
Barrowford's Natalie Haythornthwaite

Barrowford’s Natalie Haythornthwaite impressed as England won the Fast5 World Series, beating Jamaica at the Hisense Arena in Melbourne.

Fast5 is shorter-form netball, with power plays, long goals and the rolling interchange of players, and England came out on top, putting the usually dominant Australia and New Zealand teams in the shade.

England, showing the potential for a bright future, included many of their Roses side, and won the final 34-29, after choosing to have their power play in the final term of the game.

But Jamaica pushed them hard, twice levelling the scores with three-point shots with 40 seconds remaining.

But Helen Housby sealed victory just before time, with England centre court ace Serene Guthrie named player of the tournament.

Australia won the third place game, beating New Zealand 34-15.

All four nations will be battgle again next year on on the Gold Coast at the Commonwealth Games.

Meanwhile, Haythornthwaite has also been named in the England squad for a three-match Vitality Netball International Series against Malawi this month.

England Roses host Malawi Queens on Friday, November 24th at the Copper Box Arena, and again at the same venue two days later.

The sides then do battle on Wednesday, November 29th at the Genting Arena in Birmingham.

All players will be available for selection at the Netball Quad Series in January, which will provide the coaching staff one last chance for the squad to be assessed ahead of selection for the Commonwealth Games.