13.10.2008 – Graham Croker
Sydney University Sports Scholarship holder Susan Pratley led the scoring for Australia in their series win over England last week.
Pratley shot 13 from 14 in the 42-39 First Test win at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Wednesday night, and backed that up with 27 from 34 in the Diamond’s 43-33 Second Test win at the Distinctive Homes Dome in Adelaide on Saturday.
The two wins maintained Australia’s 28-year unbeaten run against England.
While the Diamonds were threatened in the first match, and just held on to win, they dominated the mid-court in the Second Test and led at every change.
Australian coach Norma Plummer changed her on-court combinations for the Adelaide Test, with Pratley and Natalie Medhurst (7/11) sent out to take on two tough defenders in Sonia Mkoloma and Geva Mentor.
The Diamonds led by seven goals at the first change and by five at the main break, when Plummer introduced Kate Beveridge to assist Pratley.
The tall shooter gave the Diamonds a target, allowing Pratley to continue her good work in the circle as the Diamonds poured in the pressure.
Australia outscored England 11-7 in the final term to run out 10-goal winners and claim the series.
First Test: Australia 42 (Kate Beveridge 13/17, Susan Pratley 13/14, Natalie Medhurst 12/14) d England 39 (Louise Brownfield 23/27, Rachel Dunn 10/15) at Newcastle Entertainment Centre.
Second Test: Australia 43 (Susan Pratley 27/34, Kate Beveridge 9/14, Natalie Medhurst 7/11) d England 33 (Louise Brownfield 23/27, Rachel Dunn 10/15) at the Distinctive Homes Dome, Adelaide.