Jamaica's Sunshine Girls beat England Roses 63-53 for consolation win in Vitality Series

By December 05, 2021

Jhaniele Fowler scored 57 goals as Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls defeated England’s Roses 63-53 for a consolation victory in the England Roses Vitality Series that concluded on Sunday.

England coming off their dominating 66-47 victory over Jamaica on Saturday, seemed to play with lesser intensity as Jess Thirlby experimented with her line up starting Laura Malcolm at centre and later bringing Georgina Fisher into the attack.

Notwithstanding those changes, Jamaica played much better than in their two previous matches, successfully getting their passes into Fowler, who only missed three shots in the game. Shanice Beckford scored five of her eight attempts at goal.

For England, Fisher scored 21 of 24, Helen Housby 15 of 17 and Eleanor Cardwell 14 of 16 and were the primary scorers in the loss.

Jamaica led 14-11 at the end of the first quarter and extended the lead to 32-24 at half-time thanks in large part to the defensive work of Shamera Sterling, who was outstanding in disrupting England’s attack and was named MVP.

It was through her work alongside Kadie-Ann Dehaney that saw Jamaica extend their lead in the second quarter. England, however, would rally in the third quarter when they tied the Sunshine Girls’ 16-16 to keep the lead at eight going into the final quarter.

However, the visitors, desperate to take something away from the series, managed to regain their composure and held on for the confidence-boosting victory.

Jamaica started with Fowler, Shanice Beckford, Khadijah Williams, Adean Thomas, Latanya Wilson, Shamera Sterling and Kadie-Ann Dehaney.  Thomas suffered what appeared to be an ankle injury early in the game and was helped off the court but later returned to help her team to the win.

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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    Fowler, 32, joined the West Coast Fever in 2018 and dominated winning the leading goal scorer award with 783 goals, which was then a record. She was also awarded the competition's player of the year title.

    She won the leading goalscorer award for a second consecutive season in 2019 and capped off the year by becoming the first player in the league's history to win multiple Player of the Year awards.

    Fowler would win her third consecutive Suncorp Super Netball Player of the Year Award after an outstanding 2020 season during a special online version of the Australian Netball Awards.

    The 1.96m tall shooter, who had three games in which she shot 100 per cent from the field, was also named to the 2021 Suncorp Super Netball Team of the Year.

    The team also included Trinidad and Tobago’s Samantha Wallace who made the team as Attack Reserve while Jamaica’s Shamera Sterling was a Defence Reserve.

  • England claim Reunited series with second straight win over Sunshine Girls England claim Reunited series with second straight win over Sunshine Girls

    Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls were unable to get back on level terms against the England Vitality Roses, after suffering a heavy loss in the second match of the series in Nottingham on Saturday.

    The lopsided 66-47 loss pushed the home team to an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-Test series, having won the opening match opening game of the series 55-45 last week.

    In the first encounter between the teams, it was the Sunshine Girls that had led at the half, this time around a devastating England attack led by 8 goals after the first quarter, and defensively managed to restrict the Jamaicans to 6 points as they doubled their advantage for a 35-19 half-time lead.

    Similar to the first match, the Jamaicans were plagued by numerous turnovers but managed to make inroads into the lead at the start of the third quarter.  The damage was, however, mostly done with England managing to give several non-regular players game time with the win all but secured.  The teams will play the final match of the series at the same venue tomorrow.

     

  • Connie Francis mulls mid-court changes after turnovers cost Sunshine Girls in 45-55 loss to England Connie Francis mulls mid-court changes after turnovers cost Sunshine Girls in 45-55 loss to England

    Sunshine Girls Head Coach Connie Francis is considering making changes to the team’s mid-court ahead of the second Test between Jamaica and England on December 4.

     This as she believes turnovers, especially those in mid-court was among the key factors contributing to why Jamaica lost 45-55 to England’s Roses on Sunday after having held a lead over the home team for the first half of their contest at the Copper Box Arena in London.

    Jamaica led 27-25 at half-time but was outscored 16-9 and 14-10, in the third and fourth quarters, respectively, as England surged to a commanding victory.

    Speaking with Sportsmax.TV after the team arrived in Nottingham on Monday, Francis also said the Sunshine Girls lacked match fitness and as a result, were not at their best in the second half. She also takes some of the blame for not adjusting to a few tactical changes England made during the game.

    Notwithstanding those issues, Francis believes England are in a much better place than her team at this juncture.

    “England right now is a better-conditioned team than us. They are an in-form team coming off a successful tour in New Zealand and they have a really good squad. Nevertheless, we took a really good squad but we have some players in our group that have not been playing netball for 18 months,” she said.

    “So, for one, I don’t think we have reached our fitness goals as yet and, two, we lost our focus because we should have gone out there and capitalized in that third quarter.”

    That said, Francis revealed that they are going back to the proverbial drawing board as they begin preparing to correct the errors made in the opening match of the three-Test series.

    “We are in Nottingham now and we are going to a training session. Tomorrow we have another training session, we have a video session, so we have some days to also try some new persons in that mid-court area because at times I think out mid-court is a little too stagnant,” Francis said.

    “Trying to get some players who have been there done that to add to that rotation and that didn’t help so it’s about moving out some other players from their comfort zone into that mid-court to see if we can get some more height and strength in because I think that having 27 turnovers wasn’t good enough and most of them were in that mid-court.

    “If we had fixed some of those passes, some of those through-court plays, those feeds into our shooters then it was possible (the result) would have gone the other way around.”

    Where Francis blames herself is that she didn’t react adequately to personnel changes England made in goal attack and goalkeeper positions, which made a significant difference.

    “I think that possibly I could have done something a little different because when I looked at the tape I see where they had made a tactical change and I tried to fix it but it just didn’t happen,” she said.

    “I thought that our defending team stood up extremely well for the most part but when England made those crucial changes and instruction was given, we didn’t rise to the instruction. So we are going back to the drawing board looking at where we have gone wrong and try to fix it.”

    Considering the circumstances, Francis said she was proud of her team’s performance on Sunday.

    “I am really proud of the girls and their effort,” she said. “They tried to stay with England for the most part but the continuous unforced errors, we just had to pay for them.”

    Games two and three are to be played on December 4 and 5 at the Motor Point Arena.

     

     

     

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