New Zealand will contest the World Cup final after beating England 47-45 in a thrilling match in Liverpool.
In a week when the England cricket team managed to beat the Kiwis in dramatic fashion, the Silver Ferns exacted a measure of revenge by denying Tracey Neville’s side a first ever appearance in a Netball World Cup final.
With the weight of expectation seemingly heavy on their shoulders, England struggled early on.
New Zealand raced into a 5-0 lead to subdue the partizan crowd on merseyside but The Roses shook off the nerves and battled straight back, clawing themselves to within one goal of their opponents at 5-6.
However, the four-time world champions extended the lead once more and ended the first quarter with a 12-9 lead.
New Zealand opened up a six-goal lead in the second quarter and looked to pull away.
But the pendulum then swung and a resurgent England clawed them back, taking the lead for the first time just before the half and going in 24-21 up at the break.
Parity was restored at 25-all and the two sides stayed neck and neck, trading goals for much of the third quarter.
At 31-30 down, New Zealand stepped up a gear to score five goals in a row and eventually began the final quarter with a three goal advantage 36-33.
Keeping England at arm’s length for the majority of the final 15 minutes, New Zealand maintained a narrow advantage to reach the final once again.
Speaking on the BBC after the match, Neville lamented her side’s defeat.
“New Zealand came out really strong in that first quarter. We didn't learn our lessons quick enough.” She admitted. “We seemed to be chasing the game which is something we haven't done in this tournament. We gave it our all but didn't have the legs.
"That was a class performance from New Zealand. You can't make basic errors like that. That was probably the only match in the tournament where we made basic errors.
New Zealand will face Australia in Sunday’s final after the Diamonds overcame South Africa 55-53 in the earlier semi-final.
The two sides have contested six of the previous seven finals with Australia winning five, including the last three in a row.
Australia also beat their Trans-Tasman rivals in the final game of the group stages this week by a single goal 50-49.
New Zealand will hope to transform their fortunes in Sunday’s gold medal match.
England have the chance to end their tournament on a high in the bronze medal match against South Africa.