Silver Ferns sweep Sunshine Girls
Jamaica's Sunshine Girls made a positive start to the third and final match in their netball tour of New Zealand yesterday. However, their hosts accelerated to complete a 3-0 series sweep when the teams met in the Energy Events Arena in Rotorua. In the end, the Silver Ferns beat the Jamaicans 66-38.
With Shantal Slater and Shanice Beckford shooting at 100 per cent accuracy in the first quarter, Jamaica overcame a 4-7 deficit to lead at 9-8 and held the ascendancy to 13-11. The home team pulled even at 13-13 just before the quarter ended. The bright beginning was based on what coach Minneth Reynolds called "strong decisive movements" in defence and attack.
However, shooting opportunities became scarce for Jamaica in the second quarter in the last match of this tour. With the visitors only attempting 10 shots, New Zealand took over and led 35-20. They had outscored the Jamaicans 22-7 in this period.
That was the turning point in the match and the black-clad New Zealand team outlasted Jamaica 15-8 and 16-10 in the last two quarters to move the overall score to 50-28 and 66-38 at the end. By comparison, the scores of the previous encounters were 72-34 and 61-38.
Slater ended with 22 goals from 26 attempts, with Beckford getting 15 from 19 tries.
Notably, turnovers by Jamaica were progressively reduced with each match on the tour. After yielding 45 on September 11, the statistic fell to 37 on September 14 and 33 on September 17.