JAMAICA'S Under-21 netballers whipped Wales 72-49 in their top-of-the-table Group C clash at the World Youth Championship yesterday in Scotland for their fourth consecutive win and a spot in the quarter-finals.
The young Sunshine Girls will now tackle Caribbean rivals and Group B runners-up Trinidad and Tobago in today's quarter-final at 1:30 pm (Jamaican time).
In what has been described as the most intense game of the championship so far, the young Girls were a bit slowly out of the blocks against the Welsh, and held only a three-point lead after the first quarter — 17-14.
The Oberon Pitterson-Nattie-coached girls marginally increased the advantage to finish the half with a nine-point gap — 33-24 on the back of an incredible 100 per cent first half-shooting and outstanding defensive work from captain Vangelee Williams.
Pitterson-Nattie had to adjust the starting team following the injury of Adean Thomas with Shanice Beckford coming in at goal attack, and Zonasha Hinds switching to centre.
They stepped up the temp in the third quarter outscoring Wales 15-11 to widen the gap to 13 points with a 48-35 lead.
The Sunshine Girls then wrapped up victory, scoring the last seven points to finish 72-49 for a 23-point winning margin, the narrowest in four games thus far.
Jamaica's player of the match, Shantal Slater, in an audio interview courtesy of the World Youth Championship website, said this was the most exciting of their four wins.
"This one because everybody was cheering for Wales, but Jamaica came out on top. I am feeling really excited, and I am glad we won that game," said Slater.
Meanwhile, Assistant Coach Marvette Anderson said they expected Wales to come out fighting, and they did.
"We're feeling very elated. We expected Wales to come and give us a run, but we managed to withstand it," said Anderson.
Jamaica will turn their attention to T&T, which lost 16-77 to New Zealand in Group B action. Jamaica, with victories over Samoa, host Scotland, and Cayman Islands are heavily favoured to advance to the semi-final.
In other games, England stopped Barbados 71-22 to top Group D, and Australia defeated South Africa 59-27 in Group A for top honours. England are set to play South Africa, while the Bajans have a date with Australia in the quarter-finals.