Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls went into the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup on a high. Days before the competition began in Liverpool, England, the Caribbean netball queens had risen to number two in the world rankings.

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 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.

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