Heartbreak for Sunshine Girls as Silver Ferns take final

Sport

Heartbreak for Sunshine Girls as Silver Ferns take final

Monday, January 27, 2020

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LONDON, England (CMC) — Jamaica's Sunshine Girls missed out on the Vitality Nations Cup title when they suffered a 67-56 defeat to world champions New Zealand in yesterday's final at Copper Box Arena here.

The Caribbean side pressed the Silver Ferns early on but could not sustain the intensity, especially in the second half, and saw their challenge fizzle out.

Head Coach Connie Francis afterwards praised the national side, however, noting they had “raised the bar” with their performance against the unbeaten Silver Ferns.

“[I have] heaps of positives from this game. It was important for our girls to leave everything on the court,” she said.

“There were some questionable calls — I would have loved to see some more consistency — but that's behind us now.

“We did make some unforced errors which were really costly but I'm really proud of the effort of all our girls. I thought they really raised the bar in our netball.”

Jamaica had suffered a 26-point thrashing at the hands of New Zealand in their preliminary round meeting, but they ensured there was no such dominance by their opponents this time around.

They trailed 7-1 but roared back to tie at 7-7 before trading goals to find themselves narrowly behind at the end of the first quarter, 16-15.

Jamaica kept up their pressure and were rewarded when they went ahead 25-23 during the second quarter. Predictably, the aggressive New Zealand side hit back to leave the contest tied 30-30 at the half-time whistle.

It was in the third quarter that Jamaica let things slip, outscored 13-8 early on to trail 49-41 at the start of the final stanza.

The eight-goal deficit proved too difficult to overcome down the stretch and Jamaica lost steam as the Silver Ferns rammed home their advantage.


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