Jamaica defeat Malawi to finish fifth at Fast5 World Series Netball as Australia claim second title in a row

By Sports Desk November 12, 2023

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls lost two of three matches on Saturday to finish fifth of the six teams in the 2023 Fast5 World Series Netball that was won by Australia who defeated New Zealand win a second consecutive title.

Jamaica defeated the champions in their opening match before getting the better of Malawi in another thrilling encounter on Friday night. However, they lost their third match of the day going down to South Africa.

Needing to win their matches on Saturday, Jamaica lost to England 33-27 before being clobbered 50-16 by New Zealand. The Sunshine Girls rounded out their matches by defeating Malawi 36-31. Romelda Aiken-George was the Player of the Match.

Australia, meanwhile, defeated England 37-16 before going on to beat New Zealand 35-23 to take the title.

Saturday's results means Jamaica ended the competition with four points, the same as South Africa. However, the Jamaicans placed fifth because of their loss to the South Africans on Friday.

Malawi finished sixth with zero points.

England finished third with six points.

Related items

  • Jamaica's Sterling-Humphrey et al on the losing end of two thrilling Suncorp Super Netball encounters Jamaica's Sterling-Humphrey et al on the losing end of two thrilling Suncorp Super Netball encounters

    Despite spirited efforts, Jamaica’s players Latanya Wilson, Shamera Sterling-Humphrey, Romelda Aiken-George and Jodi-Ann Ward were on the losing end in second round action of the Suncorp Super Netball League at John Cain Arena, on Saturday.

    Aiken-George scored 28 goals from 30 attempts, while Wilson and Sterling-Humphrey were resolute in defence, but it wasn’t enough to stop Adelaide Thunderbirds going down 53-54 to Melbourne Vixens in a nail-biting encounter.

    Georgie Horjus, with 16 goals from 17 attempts was the next best scorer for the Thunderbirds, while Keira Austin (31 goals from 33 attempts) and Sophie Garbin (23 goals from 24 attempts) got the job done for the Vixens.

    It was an intense battle from the opening whistle, with both teams gunning for their second win of the season. The Adelaide Thunderbirds’ defence caused havoc for the Vixens, as Wilson forced the first turnover of the match with her quick closing speed. Alongside compatriot Sterling-Humphrey, the defensive duo brought immense pressure early into the Vixens’ attacking front. 

    However, Austin signalled fearlessness to take aim from anywhere, as she scored two consecutive super shots to put Vixens 14-11 up at the end of the first quarter.

    Thunderbirds used the full prowess of their bench in the second quarter, with wing attack Laura Scherian and goal attack Horjus adding impetus to their charge, but the Vixens kept their noses in front at 27-25 at the half-time break. 

    Both sides showed more urgency in the third quarter where they matched each other goal-for-goal, before the electrifying Sterling-Humphrey made some crucial interceptions that saw Thunderbirds opening a three-goal lead at 34-34. But a string of super shots off the hot hands of Garbin and Austin, ensured the teams headed into the final quarter locked at 40-40.

    From there, the Vixens displayed their clinical experience to not only surge ahead, but also expertly ran down the clock before handing off the ball to Austin who sunk the winning goal in the final seconds of the hard-fought match.

    Meanwhile, Ward and her GIANTS team suffered a 62-65 loss to Queensland Firebirds in another thrilling contest at Ken Rosewall Arena.

    Donnell Wallam, with 55 goals from 60 attempts, and Tippah Dwan, with 10 goals from 12 attempts, led the way for the Firebirds. GIANTS got their goals from Jo Harten (33 goals from 35 attempts) and Sophie Dwyer (29 goals from 29 attempts).

    From the opening whistle, the Firebirds displayed masterful finesse, leaving the GIANTS struggling to keep pace with their savvy and patient play. Firebirds came out firing on all cylinders, as Wallam's prolific scoring spree put them firmly in control 21-11 at the end of the first quarter.

    Ward came out worse in a collision with Lara Dunkley, which caused more problems for the GIANTS as they struggled to regain their stride in the match.

    Though the GIANTS clawed their way back with the introduction of Sam Winders into the fray, they were still four goals down at 36-32 at half-time.

    However, a fired-up GIANTS took the game to the Firebirds, some crucial defensive efforts from Winders and Ward brought the team to life with flashes of brilliance, but consistency eluded them and, as such, Firebirds, ended the third quarter seven points ahead at 51-44.

    Despite the GIANTS' resilience and Ward's pivotal turnover and subsequent conversion by Harten, the Firebirds remained composed under pressure and secured their maiden triumph in the 2024 campaign.

  • Shimona Jok embraces new opportunity with Melbourne Mavericks amid controversy Shimona Jok embraces new opportunity with Melbourne Mavericks amid controversy

    Shimona Jok, the Jamaican netball star, has emerged from a tumultuous year with renewed optimism and a fresh opportunity in Super Netball, having signed with the Melbourne Mavericks as their 11th player. Jok's journey to this point has been marked by challenges, controversy, and personal growth, as detailed in a recent interview with ABC Sport.

    The 2023 season was a testing period for Jok, navigating the collapse of the Collingwood Magpies, enduring financial struggles due to a CPA dispute, and experiencing an 11-week period without pay. Amidst this adversity, she found solace in marrying basketball player Buay Jok.

    Despite these hardships, Jok's fortune turned when she was selected by the Mavericks, albeit under controversial circumstances. The signing raised eyebrows due to the league's criteria for the 11th player, which appeared to favour emerging Australian talent eligible for the Diamonds. However, Mavericks coach Tracey Neville leveraged Jok's permanent residency to secure the seasoned international shooter.

    Reflecting on the unexpected opportunity, Jok expressed gratitude and determination. "All I needed to do was just show up to training, work hard, be positive and show them that last year's hardships are not going to define me," said Jok, who will now earn the six-month league minimum of $22,000.

    While Jok's eligibility sparked debate around World Netball regulations, particularly her potential representation of Australia, she remains focused on the present. "My priorities have switched because I don't want to be in this position ever again," Jok explained. "Representing the national team will not always be there; once the international games are done, it's like what's your actual job? What do you do beyond that?"

    Regarding her future with Jamaica versus potential eligibility for Australia, Jok admitted to being "50-50" but emphasized the importance of keeping an open mind.

    As Jok embraces this new chapter with the Mavericks, she reflects on personal growth and resilience amidst professional challenges. Her journey serves as a testament to perseverance and the unwavering support of loved ones and mentors who stood by her during difficult times.

    With the possibility of making her debut for the Mavericks in upcoming matches, Jok looks ahead with confidence, underscoring her growth as a player and her readiness to contribute to her new team's success.

    The Melbourne Mavericks eagerly anticipate integrating Jok into their roster, recognizing her potential to bolster their attack and make a significant impact on the court.

    As Jok prepares for the next phase of her netball career, she embodies resilience and determination, poised to seize the opportunities that lie ahead with the Mavericks.

    "I feel like defenders aren't going to know what to expect if I do get the chance to play Super Netball, because the Shimona Nelson last year is different to the Shimona Jok this year," she said.

     

     

     

     

  • No Pressure: World 400m champ Watson sets sight on remainder of season with confidence, determination No Pressure: World 400m champ Watson sets sight on remainder of season with confidence, determination

    As the track and field season prepares to hit high gear, the performances of reigning World 400m champion Antonio Watson is among those that will attract some degree of interest, as Jamaican sporting enthusiasts, in particularly, have harboured hopes that he can repeat his gold medal-winning feat at this Summer’s Olympic Games in Paris.

    But amidst the anticipation and scrutiny of track and field fans, who often accept nothing short of excellence, Watson remains unfazed, exuding an aura of calm and confidence that all but indicates his readiness for the tasks ahead.

    In fact, Watson in sharing his outlook for the business end of the season, revealed a mindset rooted in resilience and self-assurance, as he prepares to grace the track for a second time over 400m this year at the sixth edition of the Racers Grand Prix, on June 1.

    “No pressure. I'm not really pressured because I'm just focusing on myself and executing my races to the best of my ability. Yes, the title of World Champion comes with some amount of pressure to perform, but the aim is just to perform at my best,” Watson said during the event's launch at Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, on Tuesday.

     Antonio Watson ease across the line to win the men's 400m B final at the Racers Grand Prix inside the National Stadium on Saturday.

    “I am still trying to gauge my competition form because I haven't run in 400m since my race in February, but I'm feeling good in training, so I'm just excited to go out there and try to ensure that my fans and my friends have a wonderful show,” he added.

    Interestingly, it was at the Racers Grand Prix that Watson broke the 45-second barrier for the first time in his career, and from there, he went on to top a quality World Championships field, with a new personal best 44.13s, in Budapest.

    With that in mind, the 22-year-old has every reason to be confident, especially after proving that he has what it takes to succeed at the highest level. Apart from the pedestrian 46.10s he clocked in February, Watson also had a 200m breeze at the Velocity Fest in March, where he clocked 20.84s.

    “Well, I'm very excited about it. It's my second year competing at Racers Grand Prix, and I enjoyed last year, so I just want to go out there this year again and put on another good show. My training has been good, I’ve been working on a lot of things over the past few weeks, getting them right, so I'm really excited to just go out there and perform, as the aim for this season is to lower my personal best, obviously, and also get more silverware this season,” he declared.

    Despite his achievements, over the past year, Watson remains humble and grounded, never allowing room for complacency or even to underestimate his opponents. This, as he won’t be facing a field of the World Championships or Olympic Games quality, but still views other competitors as equals.

    Along with Watson, the 400m field for the Racers Grand Prix includes, American Champion Allison, Nigerian NCAA champion Emmanuel Bamidele, Demish Gaye, Zandrion Barnes and Javon Francis.

    “For me, everyone is a threat because just like how I popped up last year, anyone can come out here and pop up this year. So I'm not downgrading anyone, these are good athletes Champion Allison is a sub-44 man, so too is Bamidele from Nigeria.

    “So it's a good field and I am looking forward to competing against them. It's going to be a big race and one that sets me up for trials and possibly the Olympics after. So it's going to be a very important race for me and I am just trying to go out there, perform to my best and hopefully get a great time,” Watson shared.

    While the rigors of training under celebrated coach Glen Mills at Racers Track Club can sometimes be overwhelming, Watson is unflinching in his desire to achieve excellence and, as such, leaves no stone unturned, as he braces for the challenges to come in the quest for greatness.

    “For me, hearing from coach daily really boosts me. He always has encouraging words and when I'm not performing or training to my best, he always points it out. So, for me it's good and also can be stressful at times, but coach says I'm on the right path, so I'm just sticking to the path that I am on, and hopefully I can better it,” Watson reasoned.

    “So, once I turn up at training, I'm ready to train, sometimes, it's hard to be focused for a million and one reasons, but as a professional, you have to know that it is time for you to be focused. So, I always try to stay locked in, and I have a good team around me that keeps me focused and ensures that I'm ready,” he ended.

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.