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Donnell Wallam scores winner as Australia beat England, emotional interview, sponsorship saga, reaction, analysis

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Australian netballer Donnell Wallam may have been “devastated” and “emotional” after bearing the brunt of criticism for her $15 million dress mishap.

But on Wednesday night, the rookie Firebirds pulled off one of the most improbable victories in Diamonds history.

With seconds remaining and the score level, Wallam kept the game going – opting to go for the game-winning layup to propel Australia to a 55-54 win over England in Newcastle.

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“Could you write it if you tried,” said commentator Matt Russell.

“Sport is the most wonderful theater.

“You would never believe this happened!”

An emotional Wallam fought back tears, saying she was just playing on “instinct” in those dying seconds.

“(Coach Marinkovich) Stace told me before the game, just go out there and evaluate the defenders … she gave me clear instructions when I went out there,” she said.

“I was kind of relieved when I finally got a chance on the court.

“It was one of the hardest weeks of my life.

“To go out in that dress … it kind of erases the last couple of weeks.

“All the good messages I’ve been getting have not gone unnoticed and have really helped me the last couple of weeks.”

Australia Diamonds’ Donnell Wallam and Paige Hadley are celebrating in full time. (Photo by Brendan Thorne/Getty Images for Netball Australia)Source: Getty Images

Commentators and fans alike could not believe the scenes as Wallam picked up a lay-up to win the first Test.

“What a moment for her! Look at her teammates, her sisters in arms, hugging her,” said commentator Sam Pullman.

“I was out of my place.”

It has been a remarkable journey for Valam, who was not even on the Super Netball list just 12 months ago.

Valam was only named as a replacement during the pregnancy of Firebird Ramelda Aiken-George after the start of the 2022 season.

But she had one of the most memorable debut seasons, scoring 519 goals.

Wallam, only the third Indigenous Diamond to travel to England to get her first shot at professional netball, was left in tears as her teammates quickly surrounded her in emotional scenes throughout the day.

“This is the most amazing story. What a journey for her,” Pullman said.

“What is her answer!”

The diamond address of the sponsorship saga! | 07:19

New captain Paige Hadley said she was very proud of all the girls in the win over the Roses.

“As soon as Nellie ran (in the last semester), everything erupted (in the arena),” Hadley said.

“For her to be at peace and take one last shot as a prop. She really won over us.

“This group is so, so close.”

Netball great Cat Cox said it was just a “special moment” that won’t be forgotten for Wallam, who only came out in her final term.

“The crowd went wild,” she said.

“We are certainly proud. She is a role model. What a wonderful representative.

“Under various pressures … she came onto the court and from the first second she raised her hand and demanded the ball.

“She wanted to silence the critics.

“There was full support from Donnell Wallam – it was one of those moments that went down in history.”

https://www.foxsports.com.au/netball/netball-news-2022-donnell-wallam-scores-winner-as-australia-def-england-emotional-interview-sponsorship-saga-reaction-analysis/news-story/9ccc5d7af28b7c70281935a7c9e11694

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