Jamaica’s goal-attack Thristina Harwood (centre) goes for the ball ahead of Rommela Hunte (left) and Saphia Williams of St Lucia in their Group A match at SECC courts yesterday. Jamaica won 88-24. (PHOTO: COLLIN REID COURTESY OF SUPREME VENTURES, COURTS AND BEST DRESSED CHICKEN)
The Jamaica Netball team, affectionately called the Sunshine Girls began their hunt for a top three finish in the Commonwealth Games with a resounding 88-24 win over minnows St. Lucia on day one of the netball competition.
The Jamaicans dominated their Caribbean counterparts from start to finish, showing their near neighbours no mercy.
The world number four ranked team got off to a flying start ending the first quarter with a 23-3 lead although they appeared to take their foot off the pedal somewhat in the second quarter, outscoring their opponents by only 16-11 for a 39-14 half time lead.
Whatever was said in the dressing room at half time appeared to work as the Girls limited St. Lucia to a mere ten goals for the second half, five in each quarter, while scoring 28 in the third and 21 in the fourth to win the game by a massive 64 points margin.
The senior attacking pair of Jhaniel Fowler 32 from 35 attempts and Romelda Aiken 23 from 28 led the way for the Sunshine Girls while the young guns, Thristina Harwood17 from 18 and Shanice Beckford 16 from 18 showed just how deadly accurate they can be as well for the number one ranked Caribbean team.
In other results from yesterday, fifth ranked Malawi got the better of Northern Ireland 71-50, while world number one Australia beat Wales 63-32.Trinidad and Tobago outlasted Barbados 38-37 in a thrilling Caribbean match-up.
Jamaica will be on the court again today (1:00pm local rime) when they come face to face with Northern Ireland. World Number two New Zealand will make their bow against Malawi, England faces Wales and Scotland battles St Lucia in the day’s other encounters.