England defeat leaves Sunshine Girls facing elimination

By July 15, 2019
England defeat leaves Sunshine Girls facing elimination Press Association

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls went into the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup on a high. Days before the competition began in Liverpool, England, the Caribbean netball queens had risen to number two in the world rankings.

Riding the accompanying euphoria Jamaica defeated lowly Fiji 85-29 and then defeated Caribbean neighbours Trinidad and Tobago 68-43. All looked set for Jamaica to easily advance to the semi-finals. However, in the space of two days, it all came crashing down as a shock 52-55 loss to South Africa on Sunday, followed on Monday by a hard-fought 48-56 defeat at the hands of England’s Roses have all but eliminated them from the World Cup.

England led 14-12 at the end of the first quarter and 28-26 at half time. They extended the lead to 44-36 at the end of the third before successfully holding off Jamaica to close out the match.

“To be honest, the expectations were great and we have a talented team, but talented teams also finish last sometimes so I guess we have to fight hard to come back again,” said a dejected goal shoot and captain Jhaniele Fowler afterwards.

Jamaica, with one win and two losses, lie third in Group B on two points, and now have to defeat Scotland and Uganda by huge margins and hope that England or South Africa lose their remaining games in order for them to sneak into the semi-finals.

England GK Geva Mentor said it was a tough match against the Jamaicans.

"I'm knackered. I'm so excited. It was a strong performance out there. We stuck in there and held our nerve,” she said.

"It was about doing our own job first and connecting together. You can't beat a team like Jamaica on your own. I felt like I had my work cut out against Jhaniele Fowler. She's a phenomenal athlete and it was a real team performance that helped me do my job at the back.

"We've got a tough group but if you want to be the best you've got to beat the best."

Serena Guthrie, England captain and Player of the Match, also paid tribute to the ousted Sunshine Girls.

“Obviously we’re very pleased. They’re a tough team and we knew we were going to be in for one hell of a game and it was that. It was a high-quality game and it was probably our first real test so to come off after what is our fourth game in a row, having put in a performance like that, I think we can take a lot of confidence from that going forward,” she said.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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