Jamaican superstar goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard was at her usual dominant best to help her West Coast Fever secure a hard-fought victory (71-68) against the Sunshine Coast Lightning in a back-and-forth tussle in Suncorp Super Netball action at UniSC Arena on Saturday.

Despite the Lightning winning time in possession, the Fever's exceptional shooting accuracy (97%) and success with Super Shots (5/9) propelled them to victory in front of an enthusiastic away crowd.

Fowler-Nembhard stood out as the player of the match, amassing an impressive 119.5 Nissan Net Points and shooting at an astounding 98% (53/54) during regular match time.

Shanice Beckford was also instrumental in the win with 13 goal assists and 17 feeds.

The Fever have now reclaimed their position at the top of the table and will take on the Adelaide Thunderbirds next on Saturday June 8.

Elsewhere, goal defence Jodi-Ann Ward's 33.5 Nissan Net Points were not enough to prevent her GIANTS Netball outfit from being defeated 74-60 by the Melbourne Vixens at John Cain Arena.

The Vixens shot accurately, 62/67 for 90% to be exact, while also having the edge in time of possession, intercepts and turnovers.

Goal shooter Sophie Garbin was the star of the day for the Vixens with 119.5 Nissan Net Points after producing 48 goals from 51 attempts.

The Vixens, who handed the Fever their first loss last week, are second in the table with just one loss in eight games, same as the Fever.

 

The Suncorp Super Netball league has no shortage of international superstars, but the clash between the West Coast Fever and Adelaide Thunderbirds well and truly showcased the Jamaican excellence the competition hosts.

With six Jamaican Sunshine Girls split evenly between the two teams, the battle was fierce and full of flair, as it eventually ended 57-56 in favour of the Fever.

Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard is no easybeat, and with the likes of Shanice Beckford serving her the ball on a silver platter, the Fever had no issue with scoring.

However, Shamera Sterling-Humphrey and Latanya Wilson would not let it all go the Fever’s way, picking off deflections left, right and centre.

At the other end, Romelda Aiken-George and Kadie-Ann Dehaney went head-to-head in another enormous battle, which well and truly highlighted the impressive agility and elevation of the Jamaican superstars.

All close friends off the court, the six players united after the match for a brilliant Jamaican team moment, sharing a dance for the remaining crowd.

Shimona Jok (left) was one of many high-performing Jamaicans this week.

Elsewhere, Jamaican Shimona Jok won the player of the match award for her impressive 50-goal game in the Maverick’s 69-62 win against the Firebirds, while another Jamaican Jodi-Ann Ward worked in overdrive in the Sydney derby. However, her GIANTS team went down 52-76 to New South Wales Swift, led by Trinidad and Tobago’s Samantha Wallace-Joseph.

After another week of intense battles, it comes as no surprise that Fowler-Nembhard remains atop the Nissan Net Points leaderboard with 690.5 points to her name, with Sterling-Humphrey (539.5 points) fourth on that list.

With 355 goals to her name from 363 attempts, Fowler-Nembhard has scored over 100 goals more than Donnell Wallam (253 goals from 297 attempts), who sits second on both the goals and attempts leaderboard, while Aiken-George (214 goals from 245 attempts) occupies fourth on the attempts chart and fifth on the goals side.

Trinidad and Tobago's Samantha Wallace-Joseph (right) did some damage for NSW Swifts.

On the flip side, Aiken-George (30) leads the offensive rebound stats, with Fowler-Nembhard (16) in fifth. Fever’s Fran Williams (13) head the defensive rebound standing.

Sterling-Humphrey leads the pack for deflections with 43, while Wilson (32 deflections) is in fourth position, but both Jamaicans are locked on 20 apiece in first and second on the intercept leaderboard.

Beckford (124) sit fourth for centre pass receives, as Liz Watson (155) heads that chart, along with the goal assists chart where she has 154.

Meanwhile, Helen Housby continues to reign supreme on the Suncorp Super Shot with 39 to her name for the season from 55 attempts, ahead of Sophie Dwyer (31 from 48).

Jamaica’s Romelda Aiken-George, Shamera Sterling-Humphrey and Latanya Wilson continued winning ways in the Suncorp Super Netball League, as their Adelaide Thunderbirds team downed Melbourne Mavericks 59-37 in a lopsided affair at the John Cain Arena, on Saturday.

Aiken-George again led the way with 32 goals from 34 attempts, with support from Lucy Austin, who had 14 goals from 16 attempts, and Lauren Frew (nine goals from 13 attempts), while Georgie Horjus scored the other four goals from six attempts.

Another Jamaican Shimona Jok topscored for the Mavericks with 16 goals from 19 attempts, while Gabrielle Sinclair had 16 goals from 14 attempts, including five two-point Super shots, and Natalie Butler had five goals from seven attempts.

It was another clinical performance by the Thunderbirds, who produced four strong quarters to bring the Mavericks down to earth from the high of their historic win last week. Both teams were shaky at the start, before the Thunderbirds settled with three goals in a row.

From there, it was end-to-end action until the Thunderbirds regained the ascendancy thanks to crucial intercepts by Wilson on the Mavericks centre pass, which allowed her team to open a five-goal lead at 16-11 to end the first quarter.

The back-and-forth of possession between the two teams continued in the second quarter, but the Thunderbirds remained in control and opened a 10-goal lead at one point, which forced the Mavericks to go for the two-point Super shots. However, stellar defending from Sterling-Humphrey and company ensured the Thunderbirds maintained control at 32-18 at the half-time break.

Jamaica's Latanya Wilson of Adelaide Thunderbirds rise highest to win possession.

The one-way traffic continued in favour of the Thunderbirds on the resumption, as Mavericks struggled to penetrate their shooting circle, while the speed and connection between Laura Scherian and Aiken-George made life difficult for the opponents defence.

At the end of it all, the Thunderbirds increased their advantage to 20-goals, as they wrapped up the third quarter at 47-27.

The Mavericks produced their strongest showing of the game in the final quarter, as they looked stronger and more connected, but it was a case of too little too late just too late for Jok and company, who succumbed to a 22-goal defeat.

Meanwhile, another Jamaican Jodi-Ann Ward and her GIANTS team got their first points of the campaign on the board following a nail-biting 86-80 extra-time win over Sunshine Coast Lightning, at the Ken Rosewall Arena.

Sophie Dwyer (39 goals from 38 attempts) and Jo Harten (35 goals from 35 attempts) were in good knick on the day for GIANTS, who had their other goals from Matisse Letherbarrow (12 goals from 12 attempts), the game-changer during extra-time.

Cara Koenen led the Lightning with 45 goals from 47 attempts, with support from Reilley Batcheldor (17 goals from 20 attempts) and Steph Fretwell (18 goals from 23 attempts).

It was a contest filled with twists and turns as both sides traded blows in the opening minutes. Yet, amidst the tit-for-tat scoring, it was the GIANTS that exuded confidence, demonstrating rapid ball movement and unyielding defensive intensity courtesy of Chelsea Pitman and Ward, who disrupted Lightning’s play from their centre pass.

Jamaican Jodi-Ann Ward embraces a GIANTS teammate after their first win of the season.

Ward was a bundle of energy for the GIANTS, working overtime in defence to support the team on both sides of the ball, but the teams ended the first quarter locked at 17-17.

Jo Harten and Sophie Dwyer turned it on in the Power Five time, executing an important Super Shot each. Yet, it was Steph Fretwell's clutch conversion that leveled the scores as the teams approached the first change.

The second quarter intensified in physicality as the Lightning aimed to maintain their momentum from the opening quarter. However, a pivotal turnover by Pitman allowed GIANTS to surge ahead to a five-goal lead before the onset of the Power Five period.

But the Lightning’s superb center pass conversion rate and execution in the circle led by Koenen saw them rally, but the GIANTS held a one-goal lead 37-36 at half-time.

The GIANTS kicked off the third quarter with gusto, extending their lead by four goals within the opening minutes. Harten asserted her dominance on the game, dazzling with a series of spectacular goals to ignite the GIANTS' momentum.

Still the Lightning were resolute and kept pace with their rivals to remain one goal behind at 55-54 and set up a stirring final quarter battle which eventually ended at 71-71 to send the game into extra-time.

Letherbarrow was summoned from the bench, and she delivered a relentless barrage of Super Shots, ultimately spearheading the GIANTS' comeback victory over the Lightning, who lacked composure in the latter stages of the game.

Jamaica’s trio of Latanya Wilson, Shamera Sterling-Humphrey, and Romelda Aiken-George again produced strong performances, as their Adelaide Thunderbirds team outclassed GIANTS Netball 69-49, at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, on Saturday.

Aiken-George led from the front with 29 goals from 35 attempts, backed by Lucy Austin, who scored 23 goals from 24, including two super shots, while Lauren Frew (9 goals from 9 attempts), and Georgie Horjus (8 goals from 9 attempts), also got in on the act.

While the shooters were clinical for the most parts, it was the defensive work of Matilda Garrett, Sterling-Humphrey, Wilson and others, that limited GIANTS –the team of another Jamaican Jodi-Ann Ward –in the 20-goal win.

Sophie Dwyer, with 26 goals from 27 attempts, and Jo Harten 18 goals from 24 attempts led the scoring for the GIANTS, while Matisse Letherbarrow got the other five goals.

The Thunderbirds, who entered the contest with two wins and a loss, were always favoured to come out tops, as the GIANTS struggle to find their footing, and are yet to secure a win this season.

With the use of a variety of combinations from her ten-strong roster, Head coach, Tania Obst, ensured GIANTS didn’t stand a chance, as her Thunderbirds team won all four quarters, 18-12, 19-11, 17-13, and 15-13.

Though Jamie-Lee Price was crucial for the GIANTS, doing a wealth of work in both attack and defence for her team, her hard work was not always rewarded as a few shots were missed and unforced errors were made. That, coupled with the fact that Adelaide’s defenders Garrett and Sterling-Humphrey applied intense pressure, made life even more difficult for the GIANTS.

The Thunderbirds’ fine form continued after the half-time interval, while the GIANTS once again struggled to stay in touch with their host. Despite being down, Dwyer’s confidence for the GIANTS didn’t waver and she found her rhythm which was important for the visitors.

However, as it felt like there was a momentum shift, Dwyer broke on the centre pass, giving up much-needed possession, and the positional swap between Wilson and Sterling-Humphrey made life miserable for the GIANTS, as it caused confusion for their shooters in the circle.

The Thunderbirds went into the final period 54-36 up and denied the GIANTS of almost any opportunity to get the ball down court smoothly and easily.

Before the final Power Five, Obst again changed combinations as the Thunderbirds pressed the ascendancy and completed the handsome victory. They now have three wins from four games.

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.

In a strategic move by GIANTS Netball, the team has successfully secured the talents of Jamaica’s Jodi-Ann Ward, touted as the league's best goal defense, after Collingwood admitted the failure of its netball program, leading to the cessation of Magpies' operations at the close of the 2023 Super Netball season.

Ward, who dazzled in black and white for Collingwood, will now sport the orange and charcoal colors of the GIANTS, having inked a long-term deal that will keep her in Sydney until at least the conclusion of 2026.

The 178cm Jamaican defender, recognized for her exceptional versatility and athleticism, particularly in goal defense, joins the GIANTS following a stellar season with the Magpies. Her outstanding performance, featuring 40 intercepts, 66 deflections, and 16 rebounds, earned her a well-deserved spot in the 2023 Suncorp Super Netball Team of the Year.

Ward, a Sunshine Girl representing Jamaica since 2017, played a pivotal role in her nation's rise on the world netball stage, securing a silver medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Her prowess extends beyond goal defense, as she seamlessly transitions between wing defense and goal keeper when required.

Expressing her sentiments on the transition, Ward acknowledged the unfortunate circumstances surrounding Collingwood's folding but expressed excitement