KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls made amends for their disappointing netball result in Friday’s series opener with a 40-34 defeat of Barbados in last night’s second contest, to take a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series.
Playing at the National Arena, World number four Jamaica controlled the game from the outset, leading 12-9 after the first quarter and 22-18 at half-time. They remained in control throughout the third quarter to be ahead 30-25 and then executed down the stretch for the win.
The two teams, who drew 44-all in the first Test at the same venue, met again in the final game tonight.
“There were moments of excellence, as is always with the Sunshine Girls, moments of innovation …,” head coach Jermaine Allison-McCracken said following the victory.
“I know that the Girls can now win the series, they have shown that they [can] win, but obviously there are some things that we do need to work on. I hope that they can contain the energy and bring it tomorrow (tonight).”
For Barbados, the result left them on the verge of a series defeat and coach Sandra Bruce-Small said her side suffered from lack of discipline during the second game.
“We moved away from our game plan of keeping the ball low,” she lamented.
“We went in the air a bit and that is Jamaica’s strength as the girls are taller than we are, plus we weren’t disciplined enough in possession.”
For the Jamaicans, the experienced Thristina Harwood shot 19 from 34 attempts while Shimona Nelson supported with 15 from 18 attempts.
The visitors, meanwhile, were carried by Latonia Blackman who scored 17 from 19 attempts, with Shonica Wharton chipping in with seven from eight attempts.
On Friday night Barbados were led by a brilliant performance from Blackman with 32 goals from 33 attempts as Jamaica produced a final-quarter comeback to force a draw.
The Sunshine Girls found themselves outplayed by the gutsy Barbadians, ranked 12th in the world, and trailed 22-26 at half-time despite having taken an early 12-11 advantage at the end of the opening quarter.
They clawed their way back to be within one at 34-35 entering the final quarter and were forced to pull everything out to come away with a share of the honours.
For the hosts, Shimona Nelson scored 31 from 39 attempts while Hasana Williams shot 12 from 15.
Shaniqua Thomas chipped in with 12 from 13 for Barbados.