Q2: 11-17 PP both teams
Rivalry resumed between England and Jamaica in Manchester at The Co-operative World Netball Series around six months after the hosts were comfortable winners in a three match series.
But, that was in the full version of the game, this is Fast Net where a striking player like Romelda Aitken is an obvious advantage when points can be doubled with bold shooting efforts. The Jamaican shooter arrived at the series following a very successful season the in ANZ championship where she was given the prestigious Most Valuable Player award.
Now, of the six nations in this competition these two sides seem to be getting the measure of the short game better than the others. They are not hanging around in these six minute quarters and are using the speed of ball to get them ahead.
England seem to be the only team so far to have found the value of the rolling substitutions and are using them good effect. In the first quarter there were four changes including Karen Atkinson starting at centre being replaced by jade Clarke before heading back out on court as WA in place of Tamsin Greenway. At the first break England led 7 goals to 5.
The Power-Play’s were both called in the second quarter which has the effect of allowing each side to cancel out any costly damage quickly and halts the chance of a big breakaway an although there were attempts at a couple of four-point shots none were sunk through the hoop. Again it was the home side that made the most of the “double-bubble” pulling into a 6 point lead at half-time.
The third quarter was more tightly contested with the sides slashing down the shots on goal, don’t forget these two teams are closely tied in the world rankings, there is not a huge gap between them and Jamaica appear to have closed the gap more since they last met. With little to choose between them the Sunshine Girls edged the quarter to make it 23-18 with six minutes to play.
Jamaica came out all guns blazing in the final period and edged back into the match to trail by just 3 points 24-21 when England’s Jo Harten found herself forced to the edge of the circle, SHOOT went the cry, in went the ball, and the crowd roared. It was a tight push right to the end but the home side remain unbeaten and share the lead at the top of the table with Australia.
England head coach Sue Hawkins is loving the competition, “We’ve really embraced it and our boundaries are opening up all the time” she said after the win, “I have full trust in all my bench and they’re coming out and strutting their stuff. We have now just got to knock- off one of the big guns and see what we can do.”
ENGLAND: GS: Rachel Dunn GA:Pamela Cookey WA:Tamsin Greenway C: Karen Atkinson WD Sara Bayman GD Sonia Mkoloma GK Geva Mentor
REPS: Jo Harten, Jade Clarke, Serenia Gurthrie, Stacey Francis, Eboni Beckford-Chambers.
JAMAICA: GS: Romelda Aiken GA: Simone Forbes WA:Nadine Bryan C:Nichala Gibson WD:Sasha-Gaye Henry GD: Paula Thompson GK: Sasha-Gay Lynch
REPS: Nardia Hanson, Crystal Gordon, Tracy- Ann Robinson,Malysha Kelly, Nicole Aiken
photos Janos Schmidt