The Silver Ferns took out the Fast5 tournament final with a thrilling 23-21 win over England at Vector Arena tonight.
The Ferns wowed the crowd before play had even started with their 'Gangnam Style' entrance theatrics in keeping with the carnival atmosphere that had developed throughout the weekend's play.
England drew first blood once play got underway with Jo Harten on target with a two-pointer, while New Zealand's Maria Tutaia was off with her first attempt before Bailey Mes cleaned up the rebound to get the Ferns on the board.
Harten then took her side out to a 5-2 lead before Mes and Tutaia brought the Ferns back level. The latter had a hard time finding the net early on while her circle partner Mes was doing her part to keep the scores close.
A sharp three-pointer from England's Rachel Dunn put England ahead 9-6 at the first break with the match containing an edge and intensity befitting of the tournament final.
As they did in their semi-final win over South Africa, England looked to ram home their early advantage by taking their double-point power play in the second period.
Katrina Grant and Leanna de Bruin demonstrated their own take on the 'Harrison Hoist' to deny England as the Ferns began upping the ante in defence across the court and at goal, as they doubled their score to take a 12-9 lead.
Anna Harrison then appeared and denied England another score with a well-executed hoist manoeuvre of her own, yet she was called back after the umpire ruled she had touched the net.
It took a four-pointer with two minutes left for England to add to their score but they were in the box seat by half-time with a 19-14 lead.
The Ferns utilised their power play for the third quarter, with Irene van Dyk on for Mes, yet England retained possession for long periods to limit their scoring chances.
England's tactics frustrated the hosts and upset the parochial the home crowd, and it took a last second two-pointer from van Dyk to see the Ferns trail 21-20 at the final break.
Silver Ferns coach Waimaram Taumaunu paired Anna Thompson with van Dyk for the closing six minutes and she levelled things up after a well-timed intercept from Katrina Grant.
Van Dyk then edged them one ahead midway through before the
scoring dried up until the veteran shooter nailed two-points to
clinch the result seconds from the death.