Jamaica's Jhaniele Fowler (left) collectsthe ball ahead of Trinidad and Tobago'sShaquanda Greene-Noel during gametwo of their three-match SunshineSeries at the National Indoor Sports Centre yesterday.(Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Skipper Fowler spares blushes as Sunshine Girls double lead

Jamaica's Sunshine Girls made it two wins in two when they outscored Trinidad and Tobago's Calypso Girls 64-32 in an entertaining contest at the National Indoor Sports Centre yesterday.

The win ensured that the Connie Francis-coached Sunshine Girls take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match Sunshine series being played in honour of former Netball Jamaica President Margaret Beckford.

They will now be aiming to complete the sweep of their Caribbean rivals when they return for today's final encounter at the same venue at 6:00 pm.

Unlike the first game when they were a dominant force, the Jamaicans were more off colour last night and were found wanting in all areas, for the most part.

It took captain Jhaniele Fowler to spare their blushes as she entered the court in the third quarter to put some daylight between the teams' scores.

The towering shooter sank 36 of her 38 attempts to again lead the way, with starting shooter Gezelle Allison, scoring 13 from 20 attempts. Goal-attack Shanice Beckford had 12 goals from 14 attempts, while debutant Amanda Pinkney scored three from five.

Trinidad were again led by Afisha Noel with 17 goals from 20 attempts, supported by captain Kalifa McCollin with a near perfect 15 goals from 16 attempts.

It was a more spirited and clinical start by the Calypso Girls on this occasion as they disrupted the Jamaicans' rhythm and forced a number of errors and turnovers in what was a much more bustling first half.

In fact, while the Sunshine Girls struggled to maintain their composure, particularly in the shooting circle, where Allison had issues finding her range, the Trinidadians grew in confidence.

The number 10-ranked Calypso Girls kept pace with the number four-ranked Sunshine Girls, ending the first quarter 12-8, and went to the break 10 goals behind at 24-14.

This represented a stark contrast to Saturday's opening game when the scoreline read 36-16 at the break.

However, the shape of the game changed drastically in the third quarter with the presence of Fowler on court as the ace shooter outscored her opponents 20-8, to make the score 44-22 heading into the final quarter.

Scoring aside, Fowler's presence sparked a completely different reaction from her Sunshine Girls teammates as they upped the ante while the Calypso Girls gradually started to lose shape.

The initial stages of the final quarter were a bit of a tit-for-tat between the two teams, but things loosened at the halfway point, eventually ending with the Jamaicans adding 20 more goals to their tally, to Trinidad's 10, to secure victory by 32 goals.

Jamaica's Shadian Hemmings (left) searches for a pass around Trinidad andTobago's Janeisha Cassimy during game two of their three-match SunshineSeries at the National Indoor Sports Centre yesterday.(Photos: Garfield Robinson)
SunshineGirls CaptainJhaniele Fowler(second right) rises aboveCalypso Girl ShaquandaGreene-Noel during gametwo of their three-matchSunshine Series at theNational Indoor SportsCentre yesterday.
BY SHERDON COWAN Observer staff reporter cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

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