Team Bath Netball captain Eboni Beckford-Chambers was a game changer as England came from behind to beat Jamaica with a last-second winner in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games netball semi-finals.
Jo Harten’s goal from the last shot of the game put England into their first-ever Commonwealth Games final, where they will contest the gold medal with hosts and defending champions Australia on Sunday (4.02am BST).
England were trailing 33-27 at half-time but the introduction of Beckford-Chambers for the third and fourth quarters helped them tighten up defensively and work their way back into the contest.
They were still four goals down going into the final quarter but they refused to be denied a place in the final and clawed their way back level before grabbing victory with the last action of the game.
Team Bath attacker Kadeen Corbin is also part of the England squad that is already guaranteed a best-ever finish at a Commonwealth Games.
A determined last leg from University of Bath-based Emily Diamond was not quite enough to secure a bronze medal for Team England in the women’s 4x400m relay.
Diamond received the baton in third place and ran brilliantly to hold on to that position until the closing 50m when she was finally overtaken by Commonwealth 400m champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana.
“There were some incredibly strong athletes on that fourth leg and I knew everyone would be chasing me quickly, wherever I was placed, so I tried to give myself the best possible chance,” said Diamond, who is coached remotely at the University by Jared Deacon.
“I did my best to get out hard and make them work hard if they were going to go past me. I really tried, I didn’t feel Montsho until the last few metres. She’s a Commonwealth champion and it’s a tough ask to go with her.”
Biochemistry graduate Kirsten McAslan and University-based Eilidh Doyle, who won 400m hurdles silver on Thursday, were part of a Scotland quartet that finished sixth in a new national record of 3:29.18.
University of Bath graduates Deborah Fleming, Natasha Hunt and Amy Wilson Hardy helped England secure their place in the women’s semi-finals with a 45-0 victory over Wales, which ensured they finished runners-up in Pool B.
Fleming again opened the scoring, while Hunt and Wilson Hardy both scored two tries apiece.
An England men’s team coached by University of Bath Hall of Fame for Sport inductee Bobby Crutchley bounced back from their narrow semi-final defeat to Australia by beating India in the bronze-medal match.
Former Team Bath Buccaneers players Liam Sanford and Harry Gibson were also part of the England squad that won 2-1 thanks to a brace of Sam Ward penalty corners.