Sat | Dec 15, 2018

Fowler-Reid upbeat after Suncorp final loss

Published:Monday | August 27, 2018 | 12:00 AMRaymond Graham/Gleaner Writer
Jhaniele Fowler-Reid (right) prepares to shoot ahead of Phumza Maweni (GK, South Africa) as Shanice Beckford (left) is on the alert in Pool A Commonwealth Netball action on the Gold Coast in Australia on April 6.

Playing at home and with a record crowd of over 13,700 fans, a victory was expected for West Coast Fever, the team of Jamaica senior netball team captain Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, playing in the Suncorp Super Netball final in Perth, Australia. But this was not to be. Defending champions Sunshine Coast Lightning surprised the home team 62-59 for the win and back-to-back titles.

After playing away twice in the play-offs before the big final against a well-rested West Coast Fever team, the visiting team, with a big third quarter where they outscored their opponents 22-16 after trailing in the first two quarters, took the large contingent of loud home fans out of the game. They lead 48-44 going into the final stanza after trailing 26-29. Despite the home team taking a 54-53 lead early in the final quarter, they rallied for the win in the end.

Fowler-Reid, who had another excellent shooting performance after scoring 53 goals from 55 attempts, had mixed feelings about her team's defeat. "I am happy and sad at the same time," she said. "Happy that we made it this far, but sad we didn't go all the way."

She said that inconsistencies in the third quarter caused the loss. "We did used the energy of the crowd, but at the end of the day, the crowd is not playing, so we just have to hold ourselves accountable."

It was the first time her team had got to the competition's final.

Fowler-Reid is looking forward to returning to Jamaica in a few days after a hectic schedule in Australia. "I will be heading home in a few days to resume my studies at the Mico University College and for a possible international commitment with a home friendly series against England," she said.