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13 July 2019 | Uncategorized

Jamaican Sunshine Girls extend winning run

Jamaica won the Saturday evening battle of the Caribbean nations at the Vitality Netball World Cup, recording a 68-43 victory over Trinidad and Tobago.

What looked to be a keenly-contested game was turned on its head in the second quarter when Jamaica came out firing on all cylinders, scoring 16 unanswered goals, and from then on the result was never in question.

Both coaches elected to make several changes to their starting line-ups from their opening World Cup matches. Jamaica had the luxury of being able to rest players following their comfortable victory over Fiji, while Trinidad and Tobago were in search of their first win following their disappointing defeat to South Africa.

Trinidad and Tobago squandered first use of the ball allowing Jhaniele Fowler to fire Jamaica into an early two-goal lead. Her opposite goal shooter Samantha Wallace had a shot to equalise, but it bounced off the rim. Jamaica took full advantage of the reprieve, carving out a 9-5 scoreline.

Fowler was in tremendous form but jarred her head when reaching for the pass that would lead to her eleventh goal. An interception from Stacian Facey took the score to 16-12, but Trinidad and Tobago suddenly clicked into gear to move within a single goal. The Sunshine Girls completed the scoring in the first quarter to hold a narrow 17-15 advantage.

In the second quarter, good work along the touchline saw Shanice Beckford maintain her 100% shooting record. Jamaica monopolised possession, scoring the next seven goals and establishing a 23-15 advantage. The Calypso Girls simply could not keep hold of the ball, and the deadly duo of Fowler and Beckford continued to pile on the agony with unanswered goals. Finally a red dress, in the form of Wallace, scored but by then the damage had been done, with Trinidad and Tobago having conceded 16 unanswered goals and looking at trying reverse a 36-18 deficit.

Trinidad and Tobago’s defensive difficulties were illustrated when Jamaica overthrew a pass out of bounds, but still managed to score next. By this time Jamaica were looking comfortable with a 42-21 cushion, although Trinidad and Tobago did add the final two goals of the half.

A couple of interceptions meant that Jamaica renewed their assault on the net, scoring the first four goals of the third quarter. This time, Trinidad and Tobago were able to make a positive contribution at the other end, but Jamaica’s lead continued to grow.

Rebekah Robinson, on in place of Beckford, extended the lead to 24, before Romelda Aiken assumed goal shooting duties from Fowler. Her initial shot from under the net hit the rim, but there was no mistake with the rebound. Both sides continued to trade goals, moving the score along to 57-34 at the end of the third quarter.

Trinidad and Tobago made good use of the initial centre pass in the fourth quarter and an interception meant they reduced the deficit to twenty.  Robinson, only firing at 50% accuracy, took the score to 60-38, before Aiken pushed the Jamaicans out to 23 goals ahead.

Trinidad and Tobago kept pressing, but overthrown passes once again saw them squander possession, before the final goal of the encounter summed up the match: Jamaica being gifted possession courtesy of an overly-ambitious pass and making no mistake at the other end of the court.

The side ranked number two in the world have looked impressive in their first two matches, but will face a sterner test when they take on South Africa tomorrow.

Jamaica’s Shanice Beckford said of their start to the game:

“We were flat, we were not sticking to the game plan. Our coach told us we needed to mark more. Nicole Dixon came on at centre and she brought that defensive (aspect) to that second quarter.”