This was England's biggest win over Jamaica for more than 15 years: last time the two sides met in competition, in the bronze medal match at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006, England triumphed by a single goal.
England came out strongly from the first whistle, refusing to be overawed by Jamaica's physical style of play and aggressive tactics. Despite the fact that Jamaica landed the first three goals, England maintained their composure and soon settled into a fast-paced rhythm which frequently left the Jamaicans standing. TeamBath's Geva Mentor celebrated her 24th birthday with an outstanding performance at GK to shut out towering GS Romelda Aiken, while Mavericks' GS Louisa Brownfield was in superb shooting form at the other end of the court, netting 30 of the visitors’ goals. England led 10-8 at the end of the first period.
England's all court pressure continued during the second quarter, and with shooting opportunities for both Aiken and experienced GA Simone Forbes severely restricted by the close attentions of the English defence, the visitors pushed ahead, leading 24-14 by half time, and 38-24 at three quarter time.
Despite several changes in their line up, Jamaica could find no way through the powerful English game plan, and with Brownfield netting 30 goals, the visitors cruised on to an easy win.
The second match in the week-long series takes place on Wednesday evening, with the final game to be played on Thursday. The series is the last time that the two squads will meet competitively before the Netball World Championships, to be played in Auckland in November.
photos Janos Schmidt