No sunshine for Ja's Girls Down Under - Aussies retain Netball World Cup in thriller
SYDNEY, Australia (CMC):
Jamaica's Sunshine Girls failed to overcome England yet again and were forced to settle for fourth spot on the final day of the World Cup yesterday.
Hoping to erase the memory of their loss in the group stage, the Jamaicans blew a sizeable first-quarter lead to crash to a 66-44 defeat at the Allphones Arena.
The result was a virtual repeat of the 2011 World Cup, when Jamaica also lost to England in the bronze-medal game to finish fourth.
Reigning World champions, Australia, won their third-straight title, when they edged perennial rivals New Zealand, 58-55 in the gold-medal game.
They used a strong first quarter to fuel their victory bid, and even though they lost the remaining quarters had enough momentum to get over the line.
Goal shoot Caitlin Bassett shot 48 from 51 attempts, while goal attack Natalie Medhurst finished with 10 from 13.
For the Silver Ferns, goal attack Maria Tutaia led with 38 goals from 53 attempts, while Bailey Mes scored 17 from 22.
Jamaica, meanwhile, also opened with a strong first quarter run, but were then outplayed over the remaining 45 minutes.
Goal attack Romelda Aiken led with 26 from 28 attempts and got support from goal shoot Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, who finished with 12 from 13.
England were inspired by goal shoot Joanne Harten, with 52 from 59.
Jamaica led 7-4 after 6:25 minutes through an Aiken goal, and maintained their lead to be 16-11 ahead at the end of the first period.
However, England turned it around in the second quarter, outscoring the Jamaicans 17-7 to lead 28-23 at the half-time break. Behind excellent shooting from Harten, England sparked a 12-6 run to tie the scores at 23 after 11:17 minutes, before rattling off five unanswered goals to end the quarter.
On the resumption, England kept their foot on the accelerator, with Harten and Pamela Cookey - who scored 14 from 18 - keeping Jamaica at bay.
They led 45-33 at the start of the final quarter, leaving Jamaica needing a virtual miracle to take a come-from-behind victory. Predictably, though, there was no late drama.
England kept the lead wide enough for the first 10 minutes, before closing out strongly with a 9-2 run to reiterate their dominance.
In other results for Caribbean teams, Trinidad and Tobago beat Samoa 64-51 to claim ninth spot, while Barbados beat Zambia 53-38 to finish 13th.