Adelaide Thunderbirds superstar Shamera Sterling-Humphrey will be back in pink in 2024 after signing a three-year deal with the Suncorp Super Netball club.

The Thunderbirds’ 2023 Club Champion will enter her sixth season with Adelaide in 2024 on the back of the club’s first title in a decade.

Throughout the 2023 season, Sterling-Humphrey proved time and again why she’s considered one of the best defenders in the game with another stellar stat sheet to her name.

In 2023 she topped the league with an incredible 46 intercepts and 118 deflections, and was second for defensive rebounds with 38.

She finished third across the competition for Nissan Net Points with 1472 - the most for the Thunderbirds - and appeared in the Team of the Round on seven occasions.

In her fifth season with the Thunderbirds, Sterling-Humphrey added Leadership Group member and Premiership Player to her impressive list of accolades.

Post-season, she was crowned the 2023 Suncorp Super Netball Most Valuable Player and was named as Goal Keeper in the SSN Team of the Year.

Thunderbirds High Performance Manager Pitre Bourdon said the club was thrilled to welcome back a player of Sterling-Humphrey’s caliber.

“Shamera has grown immensely during her time with the club and proved yet again what she’s capable of in our premiership season,” Bourdon said.

“She stepped up into a leadership role in 2023 and led our defensive end to new heights and successes.

“Securing Shamera on a three-year deal is exciting for the club and will extend her tenure with the Thunderbirds to eight seasons.

“We look forward to welcoming her back to Adelaide and working with her to build on what we achieved in 2023.”


The Adelaide Thunderbirds proudly announce the acquisition of Jamaican netball sensation Romelda Aiken-George for the upcoming 2024 Suncorp Super Netball League season. The seasoned shooter, who recently concluded a season with the New South Wales Swifts, where she was temporary replacement for the injured Samantha Wallace.

Aiken-George, a stalwart in the netball arena, brings an impressive track record, having participated in 214 national league games and contributing significantly to Jamaica's national team for over a decade.

Her illustrious career commenced in 2008 with the Queensland Firebirds, where she played a pivotal role in securing three premierships and clinching consecutive MVP trophies. Aiken-George, known for her dominance on the court, joined the New South Wales Swifts in 2023, filling in for the injured Samantha Wallace and showcasing her prowess with a notable 847.5 Nissan Net Points.

The prolific goal shooter boasts an array of accomplishments, including holding the record for the highest number of goals in a grand final with an impressive tally of 63. Additionally, she etched her name in Suncorp Super Netball history by becoming the first player to score 3500 goals.

Joining Jamaican teammates Shamera Sterling and Latanya Wilson on the Thunderbirds roster, Aiken-George's arrival is anticipated to fortify the team's attacking prowess for the upcoming season. Thunderbirds High Performance Manager Pitre Bourdon expressed enthusiasm about the newest addition, highlighting Aiken-George's experience and scoring consistency.

"Romelda has been a shooting force in the game for over a decade, as evidenced by her stellar performance in the 2023 season," Bourdon commented. "Her wealth of experience will be invaluable to our relatively young attack end, and we eagerly look forward to welcoming Romelda into the Thunderbirds family for the 2024 season."

In a lavish ceremony held in the heart of Montego Bay, Jamaica, Sunshine Girl defender Shamera Sterling exchanged vows with her long-time partner, Andrew AJ Humphrey, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. The union marks the second marriage among the Sunshine Girls, as netballer Shimona Nelson recently tied the knot with Buay Jok in Australia less than a month ago.

Shamera Sterling, renowned for her exceptional skills on the netball court, recently earned the title of Suncorp Super Netball Player of the Year. The wedding ceremony was a celebration of love and commitment, bringing together family and friends to witness the union of the outstanding defender and her newlywed husband.

Humphrey, a recent graduate of the University of the West Indies, shares a sports background with Sterling. Having played as a defender for his high school Herbert Morrison High in DaCosta Cup football, Humphrey's connection to the world of sports mirrors Sterling's own illustrious career.


The ceremony holds sentimental value for both Sterling and Humphrey, as the defender attended Queens High but began her high-school career at Anchovy High School, not far from Hebert Morrison High School, where her husband was a student before continuing his education at the University of the West Indies. Sterling is also a graduate of the university.

Their love story endured the test of distance and time, as Sterling spent the majority of the last five years playing professional netball overseas. She began her journey with the Loughborough Lightning in England and has been a standout player for the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the Suncorp Super League since 2019. Sterling's prowess on the court has earned her recognition as one of the best defenders in the world.

The wedding festivities were a blend of joy, laughter, and the promise of a shared future. As Sterling and Humphrey embark on this new chapter of their lives, their love story stands as a testament to the strength of their affection for each other, overcoming challenges and distance to build a life together. The Sunshine Girls, both on and off the court, continue to inspire with their achievements and celebrations of love.

Sunshine Girls defender Shamera Sterling continued the legacy of Jamaicans being named Suncorp Super Netball Player of the year, as she copped this year’s top honours and again etched her name in the annals of the sport’s history.

After winning a maiden title with the Adelaide Thunderbirds and taking the club’s champion award, Sterling became just the second Jamaican player in the tournament’s history to win the coveted Player of the Year accolade, at Netball Australia’s Award ceremony on Saturday.

The ever-impressive goalkeeper joined ace shooter Jhaniele Fowler, who won the award for the last five years consecutively from 2018 to 2022, and in the process, ensured that it became six on the trot for Jamaican players.

Sterling, 27, has been pivotal to the Thunderbirds’ defensive end ever since she burst onto the scene in 2019, becoming an instant fan favorite.

In her fifth season in the league, the Sunshine Girl standout assisted the Thunderbirds to the club’s first premiership in a decade, when they defeated the NSW Swifts in an epic grand final where she recorded seven crucial gains, three intercepts and three rebounds.

For this year, sterling led the league with 118 deflections, a substantial 15 more than the second-highest ranked player, and she also topped the league with 46 interceptions, to underline her credentials as one of, if not, the world’s best.

Sterling was also named in the team of the year at goalkeeper, alongside compatriots Latanya Wilson, who parades her skills at wing-defence, as the two form a dynamic duo in the Adelaide Thunderbirds defence, while Jodi-Ann Ward, another defender, stood out for the Collingwood Magpies.

Netballers from the Caribbean continue to face uncertainty over their immediate future, as the pay dispute in the Super Netball League shows no signs of a quick resolution.

Jamaica’s Jhaniele Fowler and Romelda Aiken-George, as well as Samantha Wallace of the Trinidad and Tobago, are among players in the League who have not been paid since their current collective bargaining agreement between Netball Australia and the Australian Netball Players' Association (ANPA) ran out on September 30. To make matters worse, they cannot be paid until a new deal is put in place.

According to reports, the dispute is headed to mediation with Netball Australia and ANPA unable to arrive at an amicable settlement over a revenue share model, and several players have had to turn to family and friends for financial support.

"I've heard of players who've had to move home because they can't sign rental agreements or are struggling to pay their mortgages because there is a big stand-off between what Netball Australia want to put forward and what the players and players' association want," former Australia netballer Bianca Chatfield said in a TV interview.

The feud erupted after the ANPA rejected the latest offer from Netball Australia and the eight SNL clubs, which put forward a "profit share partnership", while the players are demanding a "revenue share partnership model".

Netball Australia said it offered a base wage increase of nine per cent over three years and a maximum salary cap increase of three per cent over the same term, as well as a share in the profits generated by the League for the first time.

Officials from Netball Australia and the clubs expressed disappointment at the rejection of the offer, which they have described as "a ground-breaking collective player agreement".

Netball Australia said any further increases to player wages beyond the current offer would be irresponsible because they would negatively impact funding for community and grass roots netball.

ANPA said the players believe they have bent over backwards in a bid to reach an agreement, and they are now appealing for mediation to achieve "meaningful and fair progress".

Australia international defender Maddy Turner said it was a "super stressful" time for all players left in limbo ahead of next season, and she also showed some compassion for non-Australian players.

"When you are relying on that money to pay for rent, groceries, everything… imagine your next pay cheque doesn't come in. You're looking for other ways to earn money. I think it's really disappointing. There's no pay coming in," she said in a TV interview.

Turner said she had turned to the "bank of Mum and Dad" to pay her mortgage, while picking up extra work where she can — but not every player was that fortunate.

"There are a lot of internationals in our league and without that money coming in, it's hard for them to come over here where they can't work a second job," she said. "I think it's probably the most frustrating for them."

ANPA Chief Executive Officer Kathryn Harby-Williams argued the players were not making extraordinary demands.

"Players will never take what the game can't afford," she said in a radio interview. "It's new money we are asking for and simply 20 per cent of sponsorship, and that is all. It ensures players receive a fair share of sponsorship revenue — it's a real partnership model."

The netballers have found support from the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) after their recent fight with Cricket Australia — with the organisation creating a "fighting fund for netballers to draw on during their period of unemployment".

ACA Chief Executive Officer Todd Greenberg said the netballers' requests were "modest and affordable for the sport", and the players must be given the same partnership opportunities that has seen women's cricket in Australia thrive.

"The ACA stands with the netballers and will do so until this campaign is successful," he said.

Shamera Sterling, Latanya Wilson, Jodi-Ann Ward, Shimona Nelson, and Kadian Dehaney are the other Caribbean players that played in the SNL last season.


A number of Caribbean players are now left in wait-and-see mode, as they could be affected by an ongoing pay dispute in the Australian Super Netball League.

Players such as Jamaica’s Jhaniele Fowler, Romelda Aiken-George, Shamera Sterling, and Trinidad and Tobago’s Samantha Wallace, are among those who will be watching with bated breaths, after Australia Netball Players’ Association rejected the latest offer from Netball Australia and the eight Super Netball League clubs.

Officials from Netball Australia and the clubs expressed disappointment at the ANPA’s dismissal of the offer that they described as a “ground-breaking” collective player agreement.

However, the ANPA in its response said, “the players believe they’ve bent over backwards” in a bid to reach an agreement, and they are now appealing for mediation “to achieve meaningful and fair progress.”

Netball Australia on Monday stated that an offer was made to improve its investment by AUS $1.275 million – a 20 per cent increase across a three-year deal.

Netball Australia explained that offer was on top of “the earning potential of a profit-share partnership model”, and this was without any forecast material increase in the sport’s revenue in the short term, given the current broadcast deal runs until 2026.

Netball Australia added that it offered a base wage increase of nine per cent over three years and a maximum salary cap increase of three per cent over the same term, in addition to increased potential commercial earnings, extra playing and earning opportunities with the introduction of rookies, and a share in the profits generated by the Super Netball League for the first time.

“Throughout negotiations, Netball Australia and the clubs have made significant concessions in good faith to finalise the deal and build a strong partnership model with the ANPA and Super Netball players. Netball Australia and the ANPA met again [this past] Saturday, and we continue to offer to meet to finalise a deal,” a statement from Netball Australia said.

“Netball Australia and the clubs are not opposed to mediation, but we are concerned beginning the process at this late stage would extend this already lengthy process and continue to delay the stability and certainty all parties seek.

“Netball Australia and the eight clubs have simply reached their capacity to make further concessions to the ANPA and players without jeopardising the health of the league and its teams, their respective stakeholders, and the entire netball eco-system in Australia,” the statement continued.

Netball Australia pointed out that any further increase to player wages beyond the current offer would be irresponsible, because they would negatively impact funding for community and grassroots netball.

It reiterated that the three-year deal would provide much-needed stability for the players, clubs and the league and would ensure all parties could focus on working together collectively to grow the sport.

“We appeal to the ANPA to re-consider our revised three-year offer and present it to all Super Netball players, so they can have their say,” the statement ended.

But the players’ association argued that Netball Australia had rejected a real partnership with the players.

“We cannot in good conscience lock players into an unfair three-year deal, which does not reflect their value and contribution,” the players’ association statement asserted.

“Adding to the players’ concern is a lack of clarity around the finances underpinning the game, and uncertainty around the strategic direction for netball.”

The schedule for the 2024 Super Netball League season is yet to be released because of the collective player agreement dispute.

Sterling and compatriot Latanya Wilson are members of The Adelaide Thunderbirds, while Wallace and Aiken-George represents New South Wales Swifts. Fowler is a member of West Coast Fever.


Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls gifted their country a bronze on Independence Day on Sunday when they defeated New Zealand 52-45 in the play-off for third place at the Netball World Cup in South Africa.

It was the first time that Jamaica was defeating New Zealand twice in the same global tournament relegating the Silver Ferns to their worst ever World Cup result.

Needing to rebound from the disappointment of losing 57-54 to Australia in the semi-finals, which denied them the chance to play for the gold medal, Jamaica took control of the match against the injury-riddled Ferns, who were among the favourites to win the tournament.

The defending champions had lost star shooter Grace Nweke to injury during the pool games and then were hit with an injury to Gina Crampton who was forced to leave the game with an ankle injury.

Jhaniele Fowler scored 43 goals at 98 per cent accuracy to help lead the Sunshine Girls while Shamera Sterling and Jodi-Ann Ward defended stoutly to ensure that the Sunshine Girls would have some consolation from the competition.

Ward said she is proud of the way her team rebounded from the loss to Australia on Saturday.

“We were very disappointed because obviously we wanted to be in the gold-medal match but we had to shake it off and came out here and we’re proud of the girls how they came out here and performed,” she said.

Ward added that the team simply wanted to play well to end the tournament on a high following Saturday’s let-down.

“We, as a unit, just wanted to execute because we didn’t do that very well yesterday (Saturday) so we just wanted to come out and execute as best as we could. Kudos to New Zealand they really put on a performance; they forced us to change a lot of things that we would normally do but I am extremely proud we came out with the win.”

Maia Wilson was the leading scorer for New Zealand with 19 goals.

While they remain on course to achieve their objective of breaking a 16-year Netball World Cup medal drought, Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls hopes of making it a gold or silver, were dashed, as they fell 54-57 to the Australian Diamonds in a semi-final contest that lived up to its billing from the very first centre pass.

With the number four-ranked Jamaicans having never contested a World Cup final before and number one-ranked Australia having never missed a final, both teams had all to play for inside a packed Cape Town International Conventional Centre in South Africa, especially after witnessing England’s historic rise in making their first ever final when they defeated now dethroned champions New Zealand 46-40 in the first semi-final.

Both the Sunshine Girls and the Diamonds were evenly poised for most of the way, much to the delight of the vociferous crowd that was seemingly rooting for a Jamaica triumph to spur another historic feat, but it was not to be at the end.

Captain Jhaniele Fowler, who would have wanted to celebrate her 100th cap in winning fashion, again led her team from the front with 45 goals from 46 attempts, while goal-attack Shanice Beckford shot nine goals from 10 attempts.

At the other end, Cara Koenen starred for Australia with 29 goals from 30 attempts, with her vice-captain Steph Wood contributing 28 goals from 31 attempts to put the 11-time champions on course for a 12th title.

Sunshine Girls vice-captain and outstanding defender Shamera Sterling expressed disappointment with the end result.

“We are gutted that we lost because we came here determined to go all the way to the final, but it was a good fight and I am very proud of my team and how we came out,” Sterling said in a post-game interview.

The Jamaicans were gradually slow into rhythm at the start, as they gave away an early turnover which allowed the Diamonds to race to a three-goal lead in the early exchanges. However, when the Sunshine Girls started flowing, the quickly erased the deficit and even forced a few turnovers of their own and also took a two-goal lead at one point. 

They could have widened that gap, but a few wayward passes allowed the Diamonds to rally and from there it was end-to-end action all the way to the whistle, as the quarter ended with both teams locked at 14-14.

After initially matching strides at the top of the second quarter, the Sunshine Girls let possession slip twice and that coupled with a rare miss from Fowler saw the Diamonds opening a three-goal lead. In fairness, the Jamaicans did take a few hits that should have been called but were instead ignored by the umpire.

The most blatant was when Beckford got bounced by Brazill while aerial, but nothing came of the play.

Still, the Jamaicans maintained their composure and consistent pressure in defence, particularly by the outstanding and gritty Shamera Sterling shifted momentum back in the Jamaicans favour, as they scored three unanswered goals to pull level and then go up by one.

But the deficit was short-lived as the Diamonds hit back in a heated goal-for-goal battle which saw both teams again evenly poised at 29-29 at the half-time break.

The momentum gained by the Jamaicans at the backend of the second quarter were dashed at the top of the third, as they struggled to complete passes and Australia duly capitalised and raced to a five-goal lead, the widest lead of the game at that point.

Australia could have and should have extended the lead even further while the Jamaicans laboured, but much like she did in the second stanza, Sterling came up with a big deflection that once again sparked a rally and soon they were back on level terms at 40-40, before the Diamonds stuck their noses in front at 40-42 at the whistle.

Jamaica, with what was their most efficient start to a quarter, easily erased the two-goal deficit and later opened up a three-goal lead of their own and seemed well on their way to join England as first-time finalists. But all their hard work was undone by a few poor decisions in mid-court and once Australia got their feet on the accelerator in the last five minutes, they never let up.

The win sent the Diamonds supporters into frenzy, while it was heartbreak for the Jamaicans and their loyal followers, who will now be hoping to make amends in the third-place contest against New Zealand on Sunday at 9:00am Jamaica time. The Australia England showpiece will follow at 11:00am.  

If ever Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls required a performance to add impetus to their charge of securing an historic Vitality Netball World Cup gold medal, it came in their historic 59-48 win over reigning champions New Zealand in their top Pool G clash at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in South Africa, on Thursday.

Captain Jhaniele Fowler shot a perfect 49 goals from 49 attempts and the defence produced one of its most consistent showings where applying pressure is concerned, as the number four-ranked Sunshine Girls topped their number two-ranked opponents for the first time ever on this stage.

Goal attack Shanice Beckford chipped in with nine goals from 10 attempts and Romelda Aiken-George the other goal from three attempts.

Maia Wilson led New Zealand with 31 goals from 33 attempts.

The Jamaicans, who extended their rich vein of form with this, their sixth-straight win at the tournament, will now have a day to rest and recover for their semi-final date with world number one-ranked Australia on Saturday. The Australians had earlier suffered a nail-biting final minute 55-56 loss to number three-ranked England, in their top Pool F clash.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s title defence seems in jeopardy, as they will have to wait on the result of South Africa's match against Uganda, to see if they are through to face England in the other semi-final.

Fowler lauded her teammates for their execution of the game plan, for the most parts.

“Kudos to my team, we went out there and did what we had to do, and it all came together in the end. We knew it was going to be tough, but we played hard and more importantly, maintained our focus and it showed in the fact that we remained consistent and disciplined which is what we were aiming for, so I am very pleased,” Fowler said in a post-game interview.

Having never beaten New Zealand on the World Cup stage previously, the Sunshine Girls drew inspiration from last year’s Commonwealth Games meeting when they drubbed the Silver Ferns 67-51 on their way to an historic silver medal.

Though they have proven strong side when they get their full squad together, the Jamaicans had their shakiest start of the tournament on this occasion, but eventually found their flow and got going. 

Of the two sides, Jamaica looked far more comfortable on attack in the first quarter, as they found the imposing presence of Fowler with consummate ease in the shooting circle.

The Silver Ferns, on the other hand, were made to battle for every pass and struggled to find any sense of flow in possession. That pressure resulted in them conceding multiple offensive fouls and, ultimately, a four-goal deficit on the scoreboard at 15-11.

This was the first opening quarter New Zealand lost in the tournament, but they again found the going tough in the second quarter.

Jamaica immediately shut down the Silver Ferns attack, as they delayed the passes to get the ball into the shooting circle. Once there, Ameliaranne Ekenasio's shot first up, was blocked and rebounded superbly by Shamera Sterling.

In fact, both teams defence proved too good to get past and forced multiple turnovers and missed shots in what was a messy period that New Zealand emerged strong from to quickly wipe out the four-goal gap.

From there, they evenly matched strides goal-for-goal, as both sides found their shooters with more ease.

But, as the second quarter seemed poised to end in a deadlock, especially after Jamaica lost Sterling to injury and a possible warning, the Sunshine Girls produced a late charge with two quick steals and passes to Fowler, who made no mistakes.

While New Zealand won the quarter 12-11, the Jamaicans maintained the ascendancy at half time, with a three-goal lead at 26-23.

Both sides were able to score more freely in the third quarter and Jamaica did well to open a five-goal lead at one point. But, unforced errors at the backend, allowed New Zealand to again close within two at 41-39, as they again outscored the Jamaicans 16-15 in that quarter.

However, any hopes the Silver Ferns harboured of finishing tops were dashed, as it appears the Jamaicans saved their best for the last quarter.

They applied consistent pressure in defence and mid-court, and that, coupled with quick passes into the shooting circle, allowed Fowler to score at will and open a 10-point gap, which was the Jamaicans biggest lead of the game.

At the end, they romped the quarter 18-9 and with it came the 11-goal win that solidifies their status as a gold-medal favourite. The last of their three bronze medals at this tournament, came in 2007.

Jamaica's Sunshine Girls produced another strong showing to make it two-from-two at the Vitality Netball World Cup when they defeated Wales 75-40 in another lopsided affair in Cape Town, South Africa on Saturday.

While it was not the most convincing performance to follow up their record 105-25 opening win over Sri Lanka, the number four-ranked Jamaicans did enough to secure their sixth win over the ninth-ranked Wales in what was their seventh meeting.

Captain and ace shooter Jhaniele Fowler again led from the front scoring 39 goals from 41, with Romelda Aiken-George, who took over second half duties, sinking 19 goals from her 21 attempts. Goal attacks Shanice Beckford and Rebekah Robinson contributed five and 12 goals from six and 14 attempts respectively.

With the win, the Jamaicans, who are aiming to break a lengthy medal drought dating back to 2007 when the country last won one of its three World Cup bronze medals, moved up to four points and are assured of one of three spots to the next round.

Head coach Connie Francis opted for a completely different starting seven on this occasion with Shamera Sterling, Latanya Wilson and Jodi-Ann Ward in defence. Nicole Dixon-Rochester started centre court, as Khadijah Williams and Shanice Beckford occupied the wing attack and goal attack positions behind big shooter Fowler.

Jamaica forced three turnovers off Wales' centre pass and, as such, rushed into a five-goal lead before the opponents responded. Despite Wales finding an early rhythm of their own to gradually close the gap at 9-6, the Sunshine Girls accelerated late on to end the quarter with a 12-goal lead at 23-11.

The Sunshine Girls' tempo in the early exchanges of the second quarter was a stark contrast to what it was in the first, but when they eventually got going –particularly at the defensive end where Sterling and company had a number of deflections and interceptions –it brought Fowler's accuracy into play, as they went on to outscore Wales 21-12 for a 44-23 half-time lead.

However, Francis and her team were left with much to figure out, as they struggled to maintain that tempo with their usual speed and flair dropping significantly after combination changes in the second half of the encounter.

In fact, they only mustered 31 goals across the last two quarters which is fairly low by their standards, especially coming off a record high performance against Sri Lanka.

Though they scored high at 90 percent, the Sunshine Girls conceded 16 turnovers and that remains a cause for concern for Fowler, heading into a much tougher contest against the number five-ranked host South Africa at 11:00am Jamaica time, on Sunday.

“I think the entire team played well, the fact that we had changes going throughout the quarters and when everyone went in the just slot in and did their part which is really good. But yeah, we have to make sure that we limit our turnovers and also tighten up on some of our contacts,” Fowler said in a post-game interview.

Meanwhile, Sterling, who was named player of the game, said they always expected a tougher contest against Wales.

“Coming off the win against Sri Lanka and then coming to play Wales, which is a more structured and organised team, we know it was going to be more competitive and we were prepared for that. So, it was just a matter of trying to tweak and fix some of the little things that we need to do,” Sterling noted.

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls expectedly opened their Vitality Netball World Cup campaign with a bang, as they hammered Sri Lanka 105-25 in Cape Town, South Africa on Friday.

The number four-ranked Jamaicans were dominant from the start and didn’t relent against their number 15-ranked opponents for a minute with the towering combination of Romelda Aiken-George and captain Jhaniele Fowler sharing goal shooting duties across two quarters apiece.

Though the Sunshine Girls usual bad habit of making unforced errors kicked in at one point, Aiken-George with 33 goals from 34 attempts and Fowler with 42 goals from 43 attempts, spared their blushes, as goal attacks Rebekah Robinson and Shanice Beckford, contributed 17 and 13 goals respectively.

With the win, the Jamaicans assume pole position in Pool C, ahead of host South Africa, who were 61-50 winners over Wales.

Jamaica’s Head coach Connie Francis started with two debutants in Latanya Wilson at goal defence and wing defence Crystal Plummer, as Robinson and Aiken-George got the starting goal attack and shooter roles ahead of Beckford and Fowler.

The potent attack of the Sunshine Girls saw them open a brisk five-goal lead inside the first 30 seconds, as they displayed their usual speed and flair that delighted crowd, especially when Aiken-George scored a lay-up shot.

In fact, the Jamaicans were so dominant that Sri Lanka’s first goal came almost seven minutes into the opening quarter, which eventually ended 26-5.

Jodi-Ann Ward joined Kadie-Ann Dehaney and the dynamic Plummer in defence for the second quarter and the trio proved too formidable for Sri Lanka’s attackers, as their consistent deflections resulted in the Jamaicans firing in 14 unanswered goals, before the opponents belated got their first almost nine minutes in.

From there, they went on to register a 52-11 half time lead, which all but signalled the writing on the wall for Sri Lanka.

The Jamaicans signalled their intent to hit the century mark with the introduction of Fowler at the start of the third quarter and she flawlessly scored her first 14 attempts, with Beckford providing the necessary support to again outscore Sri Lanka 23-7 for a 75-18 lead heading into the final quarter.

That final quarter represented the best display from Sri Lanka in the shooting circle as the matched the Jamaicans goal for goal in the early exchanges.

However, once the defence lead by Shamera Sterling and player of the game Wilson, found back their rhythm, they forced a number of turnovers and orchestrated some quick transitions for Fowler and Robinson to finish off and propel Jamaica to the 14th 100-plus goal scoreline in the tournament's history.

It was also the first 100-plus score by a team at the World Cup since 2015, when Malawi achieved the feat ironically, also against Sri Lanka.

While the Sunshine Girls scored at 89 percent, they also had 17 turnovers, an issue that Francis is hoping to correct going forward.

“From the first day when we assembled here, I saw the hunger and the will to execute well, and I am very impressed with my team. We made a number of changes just to work on combinations and also to manage the workload because the thing that we are trying to work on mostly is our turnovers.

“We know we have players that can hunt and win balls which makes them dangerous, so it is just to minimize the turnovers some more and we will be good,” Francis said.

For Fowler, the execution was on par for the most parts.

“We wanted to come out and practice some of our strategies and make sure we are cementing some of our plays. Romelda and I are both amazing shooters so either one starting a game is fine, we are just more focused on gelling as best as we can and just going one game at a time,” the captain shared.

The Sunshine Girls will next face Wales on Saturday at 4:00 am Jamaica time.

Crystal Plummer may be the youngest player in Jamaica's squad at the Vitality Netball World Cup, but she is no slouch when it comes to rubbing shoulders with the proverbial big girls.

At 20 years old, Plummer possesses incredible physical prowess and the intensity that she paraded in her few senior Sunshine Girls games to date, is testament to the demands she puts on herself to always perform at her best.

It is that stubborn determination, coupled with an unwavering desire to succeed, that place her among a number of dangerous young prospects in South Africa, and she is definitely out to prove that much.

"This means everything to me, not only am I doing what I love and representing my country, but I'm about to do so on the biggest stage possible which is the best part," Plummer told

"Being a part of the World Cup team with world class players like our captain Jhaniele Fowler, as well as Shamera Sterling, who is my role model, is just beyond amazing and a dream come through. So, I am very motivated and just looking forward to doing my utmost best to execute according to the team's game plans," she added.

The wing defence, who has been one of the standouts for Head coach Connie Francis since making her debut at the Americas qualifiers on home soil last year, was also a part of the team that toured England for a series against the Roses earlier this year and among the historic Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games winning team.

Those outings in which she grasped significant lessons has aided in improving her craft.

However, it has not always been smooth sailing for Plummer, who revealed that she struggles mentally after a tough game or training session, especially if she is convinced that she underperformed.

"My senior team journey has been full of fun and also disappointments, but I take the positives from those situations and just always aim to do better than I did before. Another positive is the fact that I have a tremendous support group in my family, friends, teammates and even fans, especially when I have my mental breakdowns when I think I did not perform as I wanted to," Plummer explained.

"But, again, it has taught me a lot in terms of where I am at currently in my career, I am very passionate and dedicated to netball and so I always aim to give my best for the team and country. Right now, I am more motivated to work hard to improve my skills and to become a better player," she shared.

Though diminutive and shy by nature, whenever Plummer touches the court, her true range and personality comes to light. With her creative movement, agility and ability, the GC Foster College student is eager to again rise to the occasion.

"Mentally I have set goals for myself, if there are any individual awards to be won, I want to make sure I am on that list of contenders and to do that I have to remain focused, believe in myself and try to be as consistent as possible each time I get on court. From a physical perspective, I am training hard and pushing myself to ensure I'm ready to go the distance if asked to," the former Holmwood Technical high stalwart said.

With the Jamaica having won only three bronze medals in 1991, 2003 and 2007, expectations are high that they will not only break that drought but more importantly, improve the quality of medal at this year’s edition in Cape Town.

They are scheduled to open their campaign against Sri Lanka on Friday, before opposing Wales on Saturday and South Africa, on Sunday.

By all indications, the number four-ranked Sunshine Girls should win all three encounters and Plummer agrees.

"Well at the moment, I am not nervous and that probably will change by game time, but from a team perspective, the team is ready and committed to the cause, we know what is at stake and we will be leaving it all on court to make the country proud.

"The ladies are experienced players, and they share pointers that they use to improve on their game to sharpen their skills and that had impacted not only my game positively, but the other young players as well. So, I am very excited and looking forward to doing great things with this team," Plummer noted.

Looking beyond the tournament, the soft-spoken and cheerful player is optimistic about landing a professional contract in one of the top overseas leagues.

"I am looking forward to or hoping to get a contact in Australia, New Zealand or England that’s the main goal for me right now. So every experience from here on will be invaluable and like I said, I just want to keep learning and improving," Plummer ended.


Either way, a Jamaican player would have become 2023 Suncorp Super Netball League champion but at the end of an intensely grand-final at the John Cain Arena on Saturday, it was the Jamaican defensive pair of Shamera Sterling and Latanya Wilson that sealed the deal as Adelaide Thunderbirds defeated New South Wales Swifts 60-59 in overtime.

Three-time champion Romelda Aiken-George who led the Swifts’ scoring with 27 goals had to settle for the position of runner-up in a match-up that will be remembered for ages.

Sterling was the first to make her mark on the match battling Aiken-George for the ball and drawing the offensive contact to put the Thunderbirds ahead.

Following suite, her teammate Wilson controlled the ball for another gain and the Thunderbirds then blitzed out to a five-goal lead.

Swift Helen Housby had her eyes firmly locked on the goal when she entered the Suncorp Super Shot zone during the Power Five to confidently narrow the Thunderbirds’ lead.

However, Sterling prevented the Swifts from getting too close with an intercept before the end of the quarter allowing the Thunderbirds to head into the break in front 16-12.

Eleanor Cardwell led the scoring for Adelaide with 31 goals and Lucy Austin had nine goals as Adelaide extended their advantage to eight points at half time after outscoring their opponents 19-15 in the second stanza to take a 35-27 led into the break.

The break proved to be a welcome one for New South Wales, who had eliminated last year’s champions West Coast Fever in last week’s preliminary final.

They emerged from the break with renewed focus and cut decisively into Adelaide’s lead after outscoring them 13-8 in the third quarter and was only down by three heading into the final stanza.

They used that momentum to outscore Adelaide 14-11 in the final quarter as the final whistle sounded with the scores locked at 54-54.

Overtime proved just as intense both Helen Housby and Cardwell stepping up to the challenge early slotting Super Shots for their respective teams.

However, the Thunderbirds’ defensive pressure forced the Swifts into a held ball and Cardwell capitalized again but then an offensive contact had the Swifts charging.

Fawns levelled the scores for the Swifts but Sterling showed why she’s the best interceptor in the league burying the Swifts dreams as her teammates made the intercept count.

The Swifts tried their hardest, however, were unable to halt the pink tide with the Thunderbirds winning by one goal.



Adelaide Thunderbirds suffered their third loss of the season and have fallen to second place when they went down 53-50 to bottom-placed Collingwood Magpies on Saturday.

Shimona Nelson scored 44 goals and Sophie Garbin nine, in a 100 per cent shooting effort as the Magpies in their final season in the Suncorp Super Netball league overcame the defensive efforts of Shamera Sterling and Latanya Wilson.

Collingwood led 16-12 after the first quarter and held a 27-23 lead at half time.

Collingwood widened their lead with another 16-12 effort in the third quarter and held on for the win despite a fourth-quarter rally from Thunderbirds who outscored Collinwood 15-10.

Eleanor Cardwell scored 27 goals from 29 attempts in the loss that saw Thunderbirds’ record fall to second place in the league table with eight wins, one draw and three losses this season.

The new league leaders are the New South Wales Swifts who defeated GIANTS 68-63 thanks in part to Romelda Aikens-George’s 32 goals from 39 attempts and Helen Housby’s 100 percent shooting for 18 goals.

Matisse Leatherbarrow and Jo Harten each scored 13 goals while Sophie Dwyer had 11 from 13 in the losing cause.

The Swifts now boast a record of nine wins, one draw and two losses after 12 rounds.

In the other game on Saturday, Queensland Firebirds defeated Melboune Vixens 76-71.

Key defensive plays from Shamera Sterling and Latanya Wilson overcame another high-percentage shooting performance from Jhaniele Fowler as the Adelaide Thunderbirds pulled off another thrilling one-goal win 54-53 over the West Coast Fever at the Netball SA Stadium on Saturday.

Fowler, the Suncorp Super Netball League’s leading scorer, converted 42 of 43 attempts but it was not enough to prevent the reigning champions from falling to their fourth defeat of the season.

Wilson earned 74.5 Nissan Net Points and Sterling 63 for defensive play that held off the defending champions who led 20-12 after the first quarter. However, the league leaders managed to close the gap by the half-time interval after outscoring Fever 14-11 in the second.

The low-scoring encounter saw the Thunderbirds win the third and fourth quarters, 13-10 and 15-12, respectively to snatch another close win. Eleanor Cardwell converted 26 of her 30 shots and Lucy Austin scored six from six in the hard-fought victory.

Adelaide Thunderbirds now have eight wins and just two losses from their 11 games this season while Fever dropped to seven wins and four losses and are only third on goal difference over Melbourne Vixens who also have a record of seven wins and four losses.

The Vixens suffered their fourth loss of the season going down 70-62 to New South Wales Swifts, who got 29 goals from Romelda Aiken-George from 34 attempts and a perfect 16 from 16 from Helen Housby.

Mwai Kumwenda scored 33 of her 35 attempts for the Vixens.

Meanwhile, Shimona Nelson scored 53 goals from 56 attempts for the Collingwood Magpies, whose miserable season will be their last in the Suncorp Super Netball League, as they suffered yet another defeat.

The Magpies were outscored 66-62 by the Sunshine Coast Lightning in what was their ninth loss of the season.

Cara Koenen scored 34 from 35 and Steph Wood 20/24 for the Lightning who were picking up their fourth win of the season and are current fifth in the league standings.

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