Sunshine girls take 2-0 lead ... Expected to sweep Bajans today
Jamaica's Sunshine Girls showed marked improvement in the second match of their three-game Supreme Ventures series against Barbados yesterday at the National Indoor Sports Centre (NISC), beating the Barbados Gems 64-29 to take a 2-0 lead in the series. Game Three is set for G.C. Foster today, starting at 5 p.m.
After a first-game performance, which, despite the Sunshine Girls' 55-22 win, was marred by inconsistency and inaccurate passing and shooting, the Jamaicans stepped up their performance in Game Two, playing with vigour and quality to register an easy win.
They started brightly and played some slick netball to take a commanding 23-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. The game also marked a return to form for Jhaneile Fowler-Reid, who had a disappointing first game. The ANZ League MVP was at her best, moving with guile in the circle and shooting with the level of accuracy that she is known for as the host romped to a 29-goal lead (41-12) at half-time.
The coaches overhauled the starting team for the second half, but the girls did not let up as they played with the same intensity and hunger to take the third quarter 18-6 for a 56-18 lead at the third and final interval.
However, a poor start to the fourth quarter saw them conceding five unanswered goals and failing to score within the first five minutes of the quarter.
They broke the spell in the sixth minute of the game, and although they went on to take the quarter 12-11, their fourth-quarter performance was a far cry from the first three periods.
Technical director Jill McIntosh agreed that the performance was much more satisfactory but said that inexperience caused them to fall off in the fourth quarter. And though they will continue to look at players, she said they would aim to make it a clean sweep.
"We had a lot of unforced errors last night (Friday). For three quarters it was good, but we lost our way in the fourth. The girls had to improve the error rate because of the amount of unforced errors in the first game, and the passing was much better - it was more controlled," she said.
"They just lost their way (fourth quarter) as it was younger, more inexperienced girls out there, but they will learn. This is a selection game and we are going for a different line-up tomorrow and a win," she added.
Barbados coach Anna Shepherd was encouraged by the improved display from her girls, however, she said the experience was an eye opener for most of her team, and though they want to limited the margin of defeat in the last game, the aim is to give all her girls a taste of what top-class netball is all about.