Jamaica take lead over England in Sunshine series

Friday, October 12, 2018

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Jamaica put in a commanding display to brush aside Commonwealth Games champions England 55-43 yesterday evening at the National Indoor Sports Centre to take a one-nil lead in the three-Test LASCO Sunshine series.

The Sunshine Girls, led by captain and goalshooter supreme Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, led 16-11 at the end of the first quarter; 35-21 at half-time; and 46-32 at the close of the third.

Fowler-Reid was immaculate on the night to sink 34 goals from her 35 attempts.

Goal attack Shanice Beckford was 12 from 17 for the Commonwealth Games bronze medallists, while substitute shooter Shantal Slater was perfect from seven tries.

Goalshooter Helen Housby was 27 from 35 for England, while Eleanor Cardwell was 10 from 14.

Jamaica Head Coach Marvette Anderson was pleased with the all-round display.

“[The team was good] from both ends. The shooters were super, we were shooting at 90-odd per cent, and the defenders were really grinding it out. I just think it was an overall good effort from the team,” Anderson told journalists during a post-game interview.

Tracey Neville, the England coach, noted her team's lacklustre first-half performance which she felt allowed Jamaica to build a comfortable lead.

“We knew it was going to be [tough]. We've obviously got an inexperienced squad out here… basic errors tonight. We were not good enough, and I was really disappointed with the first half. For me, I think we were a little bit lazy and casual on some of our plays,” Neville said.

At the start, the Jamaicans, in contrast to the wet and gloomy weather conditions across sections of the island yesterday, were energetic and sparkling as they overran the Englishwomen.

England were quick with the release of their passes, but were not always accurate early on.

Jamaica's goalkeeper Shamera Sterling was a standout, anticipating well to intercept and deflect passes.

Stacian Facey, marshalling proceedings from goal defence, was Sterling's major ally, generally unsettling the visitors with her robust play, while centre Adean Thomas was effectively the engine room for the Girls.

After snatching the first-quarter lead, the hosts' bright play continued in the second quarter and they tightened the defensive screws to stretch their advantage to 14 goals at the half-time break.

England had more success late on, and managed to narrow the gap in the second half, as Jamaica, though arguably not matching their first-half intensity, were still good enough to coast to victory.

—Sanjay Myers

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