Sun | Nov 28, 2021

Sunshine Girls brush aside T&T in opening match

Published:Sunday | October 17, 2021 | 12:08 AMRobert Bailey - Sunday Gleaner Writer

Head coach of Jamaica’s senior netball team, Connie Francis.
Head coach of Jamaica’s senior netball team, Connie Francis.

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls hardly broke a sweat as they outclassed Caribbean rivals Trinidad and Tobago 71-22 in their opening match of their Three-test series at the National Indoor Sports Complex last evening.

The Sunshine Girls, who are ranked fourth in the world, six places above the Trinidadians, dominated all four quarters of the match in the one-sided affair.

Led by captain Jhaniele Fowler, who is rated as the best goal shooter in the world, the Sunshine Girls jumped out to a 19-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, with the lanky player netting an impressive 15 goals.

The Jamaican defensive unit, which was led by experienced goal-keeper Shamera Sterling along with goal defence Latania Wilson, wing defence Shadian Hemmings, had little trouble in shutting down the Trinidadian attackers in the second stanza, holding them to a mere nine goals, while their teammates at the other end of the court helped themselves to 17 goals for a 36-16 lead at half-time.

The Calypso Girls could not match the speed and swift ball movements of the Sunshine Girls in the third period as they were easily outclassed at both ends of the court by the Connie Francis-coached Jamaican team.

In fact, the Trinis could only manage three goals in the quarter and were outscored 20-3 with the Jamaicans ending the third quarter 56-19 .

The second match in the series will be played on Tuesday with the final game scheduled for Wednesday.

Fowler, who was taken out of the game at the start of the fourth quarter and replaced by Gezelle Allison, top scored for the Jamaicans with 43 goals from 49 attempts.

She was supported by Shanice Beckford with 13 from 20, Allison eight from 15 and Rebekah Robinson seven from 12. Afeisha Noel was the leading scorer for Trinidad and Tobago with 13 goals from 18 tries.

IMPROVEMENTS NEEDED

Despite her team’s wide margin of victory, Francis said there are still some areas that they need to improve on going forward.

“I am very proud of the win but there are still areas that is of concern and going forward I think that we have time to fix it,” said Francis.

“I thought that our shooting could have been a little bit better. Sometimes our half court attack struggled at times but we are still a work in progress,” she added.

Trinidad and Tobago’s coach Althea McCollin said her team achieved a number of goals that they had set out before the start of the game.

“I felt that we contested the game well because we stood up to the pressure and that is what we were looking at before the start of the game,” said McCollin.