Girls set sights on England
AFTER sweeping Trinidad and Tobago 2-0, Jamaica's Sunshine Girls will turn their attention to England in the first of three Tests today, as the 2018 LASCO Sunshine Netball Series continues at the National Indoor Sports Centre, starting at 7:00 pm.
The Jamaican girls were too strong against America Netball Association (AFNA) reigning Caribbean champions Trinidad and Tobago in their two Test matches which ended on Tuesday.
Today's first test against the reigning Commonwealth Games champions England should prove much more difficult for the Sunshine Girls, as the home side will be hoping to avenge a one-goal defeat in the semi-finals at this year's Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Coach Marvette Anderson sought to downplay any talk of revenge.
“We are ready for England as the Trinidad series gave us the necessary preparation for the big battle with England,” she said.
“We have to select the 12 best players in this series as they will be the players who will be representing Jamaica at the Fast Five Tournament in Australia later this month,” added Anderson.
Meanwhile, Jamaica produced another sparkling performance to defeat Trinidad and Tobago 51-40 to wrap up their two-match Test encounter 2-0 on Tuesday evening.
The Jamaicans had earlier won the first Test 61-40.
Anderson said the team played extremely well despite playing with one less shooter, as captain and top goal-shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid did not play.
“It was a very good overall performance from the players although we did not start our full strength team so as to give the other players valuable exposure and the experience for upcoming tougher tournaments,” Anderson said.
According to Anderson, the series was also preparation for their big showdown with England in the three-Test Series.
Wesley Gomes, coach of Trinidad and Tobago, said despite the loss he was very pleased with the performance of the players as they achieved their objectives in both Test matches.
“They held their own nicely against Jamaica in the first two quarters of the match, where the scoring was just about even between both teams locked at 28-28 at the half-time break,” Gomes said.
The Trinidadian coach said he did not know what really went wrong in the third quarter as the players never produced the same momentum as in the first two quarters. That allowed the Jamaicans to capitalise and take control of the match. “They came out again a little flat at the start as they never looked positive with their approach.”
With Jamaica not fielding their full strength starting line-up, the Trinidadians were able to match the hosts in scoring as the first quarter was evenly contested. Jamaica gained a slim 14-13 lead at the break.
Both teams were again involved in another keen duel in the second quarter with Jamaica's shooters Thristina Harwood and Shanice Beckford matching Trinidad's shooters Samantha Wallace and Kalifa McCollin. The score was locked at 28-28 at the half-time break.
Coach Anderson made a few changes entering the third quarter as she brought in some of her more experienced senior players in order for Jamaica to take control.
Shantal Slater was brought in at the goal shooter, along with Beckford, who scored some quick goals after the visitors had taken a 30-28 lead before they tied the scores at 30-30.
The Sunshine Girls then broke the deadlock and quickly applied the pressure to take a nine-goal lead at 42-33 at the third-quarter break.
Although Trinidad made a spirited challenge, the Jamaicans were always in control and stepped up the pace in the final quarter to move into a 14-goal lead at 48-34 before coming out with a good 51-40 win.
Goal attack Beckford led the scoring for the Sunshine Girls with 29 goals from 36 attempts, with goal shooter Slater supporting with 15 goals from 16 attempts and Harwood with nine goals from 14 attempts.
Goal shooter Wallace was Trinidad's top scorer with 28 goals from 33 attempts, and goal attack McCollin with nine goals from 11 attempts.