Evergreen Medhurst makes her mark for Australia
Australian goal attack Natalie Medhurst might maintain she’s ageing, but she showed little sign of it with a match-winning performance in Sunday’s third netball Test against New Zealand in Christchurch.
The Diamonds showed excellent composure in coming back from an early five-goal deficit to take the match 59-53, exacting a small measure of revenge for narrow losses in the two previous Constellation Cup matches.
Medhurst ran three different Silver Ferns defensive combinations ragged, got through a power of work off the ball and only missed one of her 21 shots.
In that form, the Diamonds will miss her sorely in the quad series against New Zealand, England and South Africa next month.
The elusive Medhurst is taking time out for foot surgery, eager to extend her playing career to the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the world championships in Australia a year later.
“I’m just having a little clean-up on my foot. It’s been a solid two years, and with ANZ Championship as well, I’m getting old” she said.
“That’s what I’ll put it down to – at 28, I’m ageing.”
Goal keep Laura Geitz will also miss the quad series, opting instead to take a break from the sport.
Medhurst’s combination in the circle with Caitlin Bassett – finally getting her first start of the series – was assured, and her work further up the court outstanding.
She did an excellent job in getting her feeders onto the circle edge, work made easier by excellent through-court defence.
“In that forward line, particularly in the second quarter, we just stepped it up, applied some pressure and made their defenders think a lot more about what they were doing,” Medhurst said.
“Playing with someone like Caitlin provides you with a bit more space – she does take up a lot of the defenders’ time and focus, so I was able to slip in there nicely.”
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