Sunshine Girls secure second consecutive victory at Netball World Cup Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls secured their second consecutive victory at the 2023 Netball World Cup by overwhelming Wales 75-40 in Pool C at Cape Town on Saturday.

The triumph followed their impressive performance on the previous day, where they crossed the 100-point mark against Sri Lanka, registering a score of 105, which stood as the highest on day one. Additionally, the 80-point winning margin was the largest of the opening matches.

With a five-position difference in the latest world rankings placing Jamaica at number 4 and Wales at number 9, the Sunshine Girls demonstrated their dominance throughout all four quarters of the match. Their potent combination of sharp attacking play and solid defense proved too formidable for their opponents.

As the 2022 Commonwealth Games silver medalists, Jamaica took control early in the match, leading 23-11 after the first quarter, despite Wales’ rally from an initial 6-1 deficit.

At halftime, the Sunshine Girls were firmly in command with a score of 44-23. By the end of the third quarter, they extended their lead to 58-29. The relentless performance continued in the final quarter, where Jamaica scored another 17 goals, securing a staggering 35-point victory margin.

The triumph highlighted Jamaica’s skillful teamwork and strategic execution. The sharpshooters Romelda Aiken-George, Rebekah Robinson, and captain Jhaniele Fowler displayed remarkable accuracy, converting over 90 percent of their chances. On the other hand, defenders Shamera Stirling and Kadie-Ann Dehaney effectively created turnovers and disrupted the Welsh attacking flow.

Fowler led the way for the Sunshine Girls, scoring 39 goals out of 41 attempts, well supported by Aiken-George, who scored 19 goals from 21 attempts. Robinson contributed 12 goals from 14 attempts, and Shanice Beckford added five goals from six attempts.

Fowler attributed their success to the collective strength of the 12-player squad, emphasising that each member played their role effectively.

“Everyone is going out on court and doing their job and that’s what we need to for them to do, I’m very pleased with that,” she said.

Looking ahead, Jamaica’s next challenge will be against the host country South Africa on Sunday, in a crucial match that will determine the group topper.

“For tomorrow, I know South Africa is going to be coming hard at us. We just have to stick to our ground and play to the game plan,” said Fowler.

Coach Emily Handyside of Wales made one change in the starting line-up from their previous 61-50 defeat against South Africa, with Shona O’Dwyer taking the position of Clare Jones at center.

In their final Pool C match on Sunday, Wales will face Sri Lanka, a team that Jamaica dominated with a score of 105-25 in the tournament opener on Friday. To progress to the classification rounds, Wales, ranked ninth in the world, must secure a victory against Sri Lanka, ranked 15th.