Disaster!

Jamaica's loss to England all but seals their fate; semi-final qualification unlikely

Sanjay Myers
Sport Reporter
@The Netball World Cup
In Liverpool, England

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

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LIVERPOOL, England — Medal hopes for the Jamaica's Sunshine Girls has almost been extinguished, after they were outplayed in a 48-56 defeat to the hosts England Roses in Group G, yesterday.

It was the second such result in as many days for the world number two-ranked Jamaicans, after they lost 52-55 to fifth-ranked South Africa to close out the first stage of the preliminaries.

As it stands, Jamaica, who have not missed a World Cup semi-final since 1995, can only advance to the last four if results in other matches favour them.

Firstly, they would have to win their remaining second-stage preliminary matches against seventh-ranked Scotland and sixth-ranked Uganda. In addition, South Africa would have to suffer an unlikely defeat to Uganda and also lose to third-ranked England.

Jamaica Head Coach Marvette Anderson accepted that the team's fate is virtually sealed.

“I would have loved to be in the semi-finals. It didn't happen [and] we just have to move on,” she told reporters during the mixed zone yesterday.

“We are a proud group and I'm sure that we are not going down without a fight in the next two games. We are going to give it our all. We're still representing our country.”

Jamaica battled gamely throughout the first half and trailed 26-28 at half-time, but England pulled away in the third quarter to take control of the encounter.

A high turnover rate was again the team's Achilles heel, but Anderson said she could not put a finger on why that was the case.

“That has been plaguing us from the start and I guess it just came back to bite us again. It might be a concentration issue, it might be not being disciplined to stay with the play — I can't tell you right now. The ball is in the players' hand — I don't know what goes through their heads,” she said.

Tracey Neville, England's head coach, said her team was impressive in limiting balls to Jamaica's lethal goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler.

“The defence was absolutely stellar in winning those balls and giving us opportunities against a world-class side like Jamaica — that was one of our key aims,” she told members of the media.

“It was a tough job in the circle. It's never a joy for any defence to play against Jhaniele Fowler, but I think the work rate by some of our girls was absolutely excellent to put them under pressure,” Neville, a former England netball player, added.

The England coach, sister of Manchester United football stalwarts Phil and Gary Neville, said the match against Jamaica was just what was required, as they step up their medal challenge.

“These girls really needed to be tested today. We needed to see where they were at in this tournament, and I think they went out there and were really clinical at times when we really needed to,” she said.

Jamaica's goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler, who has been other-worldly so far in the tournament, was perfect yesterday, scoring all 43 of her shots. Goal attack Shanice Beckford hit five goals from nine attempts.

England's goal attack Helen Housby counted 29 goals from 34 tries, while Joanne Harten scored 27 from 30.

Jamaica started with Jodi-Ann Ward and Adean Thomas on the bench, and put out the team that finished so strongly in the three-goal loss to South Africa a day earlier.

But, not for the first time at this tournament, they were still off to an error-prone start and were behind by as many as six goals before shaking off the jitters to narrow the deficit to 12-14 at the end of the first quarter.

They briefly went ahead with about five minutes remaining in the second quarter but turnovers let them down as England sneaked ahead going into half-time.

The gap between the teams widened in the third quarter as England — surer in possession, sharper with passes, and stifling in defence —vantage was just a stretch too much for the Jamaicans to overhaul, and despite deploying the towering tandem of Fowler and fellow six-footer Romelda Aiken over the final six minutes, they went down to another morale-sapping defeat.

The Jamaicans will have a break from competitive action today before they face Scotland and Uganda tomorrow and Thursday, respectively.

 

Teams:

Jamaica — Jhaniele Fowler, Shanice Beckford, Khadijah Williams, Nicole Dixon, Vangelee Williams, Stacian Facey, Shamera Sterling

Subs: Romelda Aiken, Kadie-Ann Dehaney, Rebekah Robinson, Adean Thomas, Jodi-Ann Ward

England — Joanne Harten, Helen Housby, Chelsea Pitman, Serena Guthrie, Jade Clarke, Eboni Usoro-Brown, Geva Mentor

Subs: Rachel Dunn, Layla Guscoth, Natalie Haythornthwaite, Natalie Panagarry, Francesca Williams


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