Sunshine Girls power past Bajans 57-36
THE Sunshine Girls got the better of Caribbean neighbours Barbados 57-36 to secure game one of the three test friendly series at GC Foster College on Friday.
The current Sunshine Girls squad comprises 18 payers, and the three test friendly series is the final stage in the selection process for Netball Jamaica to select the final 12 players who will represent the country at the Commonwealth Games.
Jhanielle Fowler-Reid, who recently returned from the ANZ Championship in Australia and New Zealand, was a major boost to the Sunshine Girls team. The composed goalshooter standing at 6ft 6 inches frustrated the Barbadian defence.
The Sunshine Girls as expected led from start to finish with a first quarter score of 14-11, and 31-16 at half-time. Fowler was all over the Barbadian defence in the third quarter as Jamaica opened up a 21-point lead at 44-23, before wrapping things up at 57-36.
Fowler-Reid finished the game with 44 goals from 49 attempts. Shanice Beckford (GA) with a perfect six from six, along with Thristina Harwood's (GA) four from five, and Deneeen Taylor (GA) three from three got the other goals.
Barbados were led by goalshooter Laurel Brown, who netted 17 from her 20 attempts and Nikita Piggot (GA) who had 100 per cent accuracy, scoring 13 from 13.
Technical director of the Sunshine Girls, Jill McIntosh, was pleased with the team's performance, but thinks there is still work to be done.
"I have observed the game keenly and it will help in selecting the 12 players. There is still a lot of work to do... more practising and training, but the girls are on the right path. I thought our defensive line held up the attack line and that was very pleasing," McIntosh told the Jamaica Observer.
Meanwhile, head coach of Barbados, Anna Shepherd, felt that her team will have to sharpen up in certain areas.
"I am impressed with my team's first and last quarters, they stepped up and fought back hard, but too many turnovers led to our downfall. This match was a very competitive one and good competition is what I wanted heading into the Commonwealth Games, as we have some key areas that we have to discuss about as a team and work on with game two and three to play," she noted.
The second game was slated for the same venue last evening, with the final game set to this evening, also at the GC Foster College.