World number two-ranked Jamaica were left searching for answers after a stunning upset at the hands of South Africa at the Netball World Cup on Sunday.

Facing a deficit for most of the match, the Sunshine Girls fought back late on, but in the end, the South Africans held on for a 55-52 victory.  Led by shooter Lenize Potgieter the Proteas established an early 16-9 lead after the first quarter.

Jamaica played much better in the second quarter, but it was South Africa who stretched their lead by another four goals as they netted another 16 points.  At half time the score was 32-21 at half-time.  A big third quarter from Jamaica saw the team outscore the South Africans 17-10 to begin the final period just four points adrift. 

The top three in each group advance to the second preliminary phase. South Africa’s win over Jamaica sets them up well for the run to the semi-finals.

The Jamaicans were two down heading into the final minute and saw their chances ended when the Proteas won a crucial interception.  Jhanelle Fowler-Reid led the way for the Jamaicans with 38 goals from 39 attempts, Potgieter was 36 from 39 for the South Africans.

Despite a poor shooting night from ace goal shooter Romelda Aiken, Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls have managed to maintain a perfect record after two games at the Vitality Netball World Cup in England.

Playing against Trinidad and Tobago, who were on the backfoot after an opening-day loss to South Africa, the Sunshine Girls started slowly but eased away to a 68-43 win.

“Not the best start. Not the start we wanted,” said Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, the Sunshine Girls captain.

Fowler-Reid was referring to the closeness of the first quarter the Sunshine Girls just managed to edge, 17-15.

Unfortunately for the Sunshine Girls’ Caribbean opponents, they could not keep pace and lost the second quarter 25-8, to go into halftime 42-23.

“We picked it up in the second quarter,” said Fowler-Reid, who was also quick to point out that her team needed to quit making unforced errors.

T&T would not quit after that dreadful second quarter and scored 11 goals in the third but still trailed badly on account of 15 goals from the Sunshine Girls.

At 57-34, going into the final quarter, the game was well and truly over, but credit to T&T, they were not in the mood to throw in the towel, giving as good as they got to end the quarter 11-9. Of course, that was no help on the final scorecard but it might give the Caribbean side some confidence headed into their final group game against Fiji.

Aiken ended her night with seven goals from 13 attempts, a very conservative outing for the usually prolific goal shooter. Rebekah Robinson didn’t have a great game at goal attack either sinking 11 of her 20 attempts, but fortunately for the Jamaicans, their squad runs deep.

Fowler-Ried, replacing Aiken, was brilliant, knocking down 38 goals from just 40 attempts, while Shanice Beckford was almost lights out from the goal attack position, scoring 12 of her 14 attempts.

The four were largely too good for the efforts of T&T’s Samantha Wallace, 19 of 24, Jameela McCarthy, five of six, and Kalifa McCollin, 19 of 21.

Speaking about Aiken’s sub-par performance, Fowler-Reid, expressed confidence.

“There is no concern for Romelda. She will be ok for the next game. She just had to get over some jitters and remember how good a shooter she is,” said the skipper.

Fowler-Reid did issue a warning to her teammates though, saying South Africa were not the team to make the kind of mistakes they have, against.

“There are too many turnovers. These are unforced errors. Errors that we cause on our own. South Africa is going to punish us if we do that because they are an awesome team,” said Fowler-Ried.

While issuing the warning, the skipper did return to her confident base, saying she was sure the team would get it right when the time came to do so.

“We know what we can do and we can correct that in no time,” she said.

Barbados skipper, Wing Attack, Damisha Croney, says her Barbados Gems are still in good spirits despite a 78-25 drubbing at the hands of former World Champions New Zealand.

New Zealand started quickly, leading 16-9 in the first quarter, before dominating the second to go into the half leading 42-14. The Gems would not recover, as the Silver Ferns pressed home their advantage in the second half, scoring 19 points in the third quarter to ensure the result going into the final quarter. Already leading, 61-20, they would slow ever so slightly, scoring 17 goals to the Gems’ six.

The Gems skipper took heart in the way the Caribbean side started the game, but admitted the Silver Ferns were too fast and too strong for her team.

“We didn't take the W today. It was a challenging game as expected going up against a team in the top 5 in the World who are also past World Champions,” said Croney.

“We started well in the first quarter, which ended 9-16 in their favour. The speed posed a challenge for us as the game progressed but I am very pleased with the great passages of plays that the team presented,” she said.

While the game was a lost cause for the Gems, the team did get a glorious chance to look at what works and what doesn’t against World-Class opposition.

“We were able to work on new combinations and get all 12 players on court,” said Croney.

For Babrados, Latonia Blackman had 3-4 from goal shoot, while Brianna Holder had four goals from six attempts.

Shonica Wharton, despite coming out on the losing end of affairs, had a good time in the circle, scoring 14 goals from just 16 attempts, while Sheniqua Thomas took six shots, sinking four.

The four were up against the powerful shooting of Maria Falou, 21 from 24, Te Paea Selby-Rickit, 20 from 22, and the impressive Bailey Mes, 30 from 33. Ameliaranne Ekenasio scored seven goals from her eight attempts.

Barbados captain Damisha Croney believes her team’s lopsided victory over Singapore on Friday’s opening day of the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup was an important step for her team but they will not get carried away by it.

Jhanielle Fowler-Reid scored 33 goals from 35 attempts as Jamaica thrashed Fiji 85-29 in their opening match of the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup on Friday.

Goal shooter Shonica Wharton scored 27 goals from 29 attempts as Barbados crushed Singapore 69-34 in their opening match of the INF Vitality Netball World Cup that got underway in England on Friday.

Molly Rhone is to demit office as President of the International Netball Federation (INF) on July 21, coinciding with the conclusion of the Vitality Netball World Cup that begins in Liverpool, England on Friday, July 12.

Barbados’ Gems seem to be quite relaxed as they prepare to begin their Netball World Cup campaign in Liverpool, England this weekend.

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls will be lead at the Netball World Cup next month by experienced goal-shooter, Jhanielle Fowler-Reid. 

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls have always gone through issues with finances and preparations for this year’s Netball World Cup next month is no different. 

Captain Damisha Croney says she has confidence in her netball team preparing for his summer’s IFNA World Cup in Liverpool, England.

Trinidad and Tobago have made two changes to their team for the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England from July 12-21.

The sport of netball is likely to be included in the 2022 CAC Games following news that the executive of the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organisation (CASCO) accepted a report of the CACSO Technical Commission that netball is to be included as one of the new sports on the CAC Games Programme.

Netball Jamaica has named a strong and experienced squad that will go for glory at the Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England from July 12-21, 2019.

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