The first stage was very competitive by the Diamonds and Silver Ferns in Game 3 for the 2021 Constellation Cup. Both sides put a brilliant shift in the defense having blocked each of their attacking chances on occasions. And have scored some points on the board in return. But the Diamonds just in front after 15 minutes, 14-11.
The 2nd stage remains the same intensity as it was from the opening stage. With the Diamonds continued to distance themselves from the Ferns up front. Thanks to the impressive front two of Kiera Austin & Cara Koenen. Alongside Liz Watson in the Diamonds front three. While Silver Ferns also catched up with some points needed to stay in the game.
But the home side have lost some missed conversions at times as well as the ill-disciplined defense. Especially when Karin Burger came on for a while replacing Jane Watson at Goal Defense. And nothing much have turned a corner. As the Diamonds lead at half-time ahead of the Ferns, 29-24.
Ferns have the upper hand this time having closed in the Diamonds from five points to just 1 to 2 on the scoreboard. A few changes with some fresh faces on the court have benefited this potential comeback. While the Diamonds momentum began to drop the momentum a little bit. Especially with some missed chances & lost penalties. But narrowly held on the lead 40-38 with just 15 minutes to go in the fourth & final stage. The 3rd Game result is not over just yet. So it is either the Diamonds win today & take home the series win. Since they are the reigning holders from 2019. Or will the Silver Ferns have a lifeline with one game left tomorrow & win this trophy for the second time.
In the end the Diamonds just unable to hold on these finishing touches. When their scrambled defense turned wide open which was difficult to stop. Thanks to the missed chances struck against the away side up front. And the Ferns who kept themselves just a tad behind for the majority. They have not taken the lead since the early parts of Stage 1. But came from behind and eventually locked the Diamonds down towards the very final siren. With the Ferns front three finally operating smoothly to keep their series hunt alive ahead of the 4th game tomorrow. Final score is 55-49.