Netball

Sunshine Girls defeat Scotland for spot in fifth-place play-off match

Saturday, July 15, 2017

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Despite failing to secure an intended podium finish, Jamaica's Under-21 Sunshine Girls continued their battle to salvage pride at the Netball World Youth Cup, as they advanced to the fifth-place play-off with a 58-45 win over Scotland in Gaborone, Botswana, yesterday.

The young Sunshine Girls will tomorrow face South Africa, who defeated Uganda 59-35, to determine if they end the tournament in fifth or sixth position.

Head Coach Janet Guy explained that the girls are confident of a good performance in what will be a good South African test, as they seek to end the tournament on a high.

“The girls are ready. South Africa will be a good test for our girls because we played Uganda already; and the day off will help us as well.

“I think they are very confident now because we told them about where we are in position, and they decided that they are not going to finish there. So I think now they will go out there and play,” said Guy.

“Everybody has now had a chance to be on court, so they are confident. And we know where to make the changes if necessary, so I think we can pull though they just have to work for it,” she added.

Prior to their victorious exploit against Scotland, the young Sunshine Girls were left demoralised by a 55-38 defeat to England in the quarter-final round on Thursday.

The Jamaicans had earlier advanced to that stage ahead of the host with a slightly better goal average, following a series of mixed results in the group stages.

They opened with a narrow two-goal, 43-41 win over Cook Island, but produced a more convincing display against Malaysia with a 70-22 scoreline. However, they later slumped to a 46-48 defeat at the hands of the host nation and were made to sweat after a 44-39 win over Uganda.

The young Sunshine Girls held a big deficit in the early stages of the final contest against Uganda, but a lapse in concentration resulted in the game being closer than was expected and almost cost them a spot in the quarter-final.

“They were down, but we allowed them to just relax and talk among themselves and say what it is that they were worried about — because everybody came here with their best team so they just have to come out with their best game.

“So when everybody got comfortable, some cried and some said that they wanted to play and I told them that they have to prove that they wanted to play when they get out there, and they went and did just that,” said Guy in reference to the Scotland performance.

She continued: “Some people went beyond our expectations, but this is what you have to do…..you have to surprise the coach, because we talk about these unnecessary turnovers and the clog on the court. I told them that the centre court has to be loose so that the passes can flow and I think that worked a little bit better today (yesterday).

“We still need to work on it some more, but I think they played a lot better today. All the players that went on gave a good account of themselves, but we have to kind of fix some things in defence so we can have everybody giving thier all on the court, even if it is just for two minutes.

Meanwhile, Captain Kadian Dehaney, who had an off game against Scotland due to a niggling injury, is looking forward to tomorrow's contest.

“We are looking to the play-off, but we are only playing good in patches and we have to work on that, because if a team watches us they will aim to capitalise on our weakness and press us in that area.

“But we have to just push on and find that encouragement in ourselves and in each other to just come out and win the game on Sunday,” Dehaney noted.

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