Jamaica’s discarded Sunshine Girls said they feel disrespected by Netball Jamaica over the decision not to select them from an upcoming quadrangular series to take place in England in January 2020.

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girl Romelda Aiken is now a brand ambassador for Motorama Ford in Queensland, Australia.

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls avoided finishing sixth at the Vitality Netball World Cup, the worst the team would have since 1967 after a hard-fought playoff game against Malawi. 

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls still have work to do to avoid their lowest finish at the vitality Netball World Cup since 1967 even after a convincing 77-47 thrashing of Zimbabwe on Friday.

The Sunshine Girls campaign has been bitterly disappointing. Coming off the heels of their first-ever top-two world ranking, they have failed to finish among the top four for the first time in 24 years, but still fielded a strong team to lead the first quarter 23-15.

The Jamaicans would continue to have a big first half after running out to a 24-9 to end the stanza 47-24 leaders.

The Jamaicans took their foot off the gas and Zimbabwe duly took advantage in the third quarter, winning the period 14-12, but that never got them close enough to make a push in the final of the four periods.

At 59-38 heading into the fourth quarter, the game was over, but Jamaica were tired of the competition and pressed home their advantage with a  flourish, winning the final stage 18-9.

Romelda Aiken was still not at her accurate best, scoring 27 goals for Jamaica from 35 attempts, while Rebekah Robinson had 16 from 21, starting from goal attack.

For the Sunshine Girls, skipper Jhaniele Fowler-Reid was perfect, scoring 16 goals from the same number of events.

Shanice Beckford scored 18 from 21 attempts.

The four enjoyed marginally better results than the Zimbabwe shooters, for whom Joice Takaidza had 21 goals from 26 attempts. Sharon Bwanali had six from seven attempts, while Pauline Jani was perfect, scoring 18.

Ursula Ndlovu scored two from three attempts.

The result meant, the World Cup debutants, Zimbabwe, finished seventh, while the Jamaicans can finish, at worst sixth.

A seventh placed-finish for debutants is nothing to scoff at and the Zimbabweans were a happy bunch despite the loss.

“I’m really impressed with our performance today. Against the world number two it’s quite difficult, and as you can see, against them, our team is vertically challenged! But I’m really impressed,” said Felisitus Kwangwa.

Jamaica, rather, chose to look at what they did right to get past the the netball minnows.

“It was a very physical game. We knew that Zimbabwe would be physical but we came prepared for that. Our team is filled with speed, and I think that we matched up quite well with them,” said Stacian Facey.

Sixth is the worst Jamaica has finished since 1967. They do have a chance to save some blushes by finishing fifth.

That opportunity comes when they play against the very tough Malawi on Sunday.

Heads are going to roll following Jamaica’s disastrous campaign at the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup.

The Jamaica Sunshine Girls are unexpectedly on the verge of elimination from the Netball World Cup.  Several of the players, however, now ply their trade abroad could it be impacting the performance of the team?

Despite a poor shooting night from ace goal shooter Romelda Aiken, Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls have managed to maintain a perfect record after two games at the Vitality Netball World Cup in England.

Playing against Trinidad and Tobago, who were on the backfoot after an opening-day loss to South Africa, the Sunshine Girls started slowly but eased away to a 68-43 win.

“Not the best start. Not the start we wanted,” said Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, the Sunshine Girls captain.

Fowler-Reid was referring to the closeness of the first quarter the Sunshine Girls just managed to edge, 17-15.

Unfortunately for the Sunshine Girls’ Caribbean opponents, they could not keep pace and lost the second quarter 25-8, to go into halftime 42-23.

“We picked it up in the second quarter,” said Fowler-Reid, who was also quick to point out that her team needed to quit making unforced errors.

T&T would not quit after that dreadful second quarter and scored 11 goals in the third but still trailed badly on account of 15 goals from the Sunshine Girls.

At 57-34, going into the final quarter, the game was well and truly over, but credit to T&T, they were not in the mood to throw in the towel, giving as good as they got to end the quarter 11-9. Of course, that was no help on the final scorecard but it might give the Caribbean side some confidence headed into their final group game against Fiji.

Aiken ended her night with seven goals from 13 attempts, a very conservative outing for the usually prolific goal shooter. Rebekah Robinson didn’t have a great game at goal attack either sinking 11 of her 20 attempts, but fortunately for the Jamaicans, their squad runs deep.

Fowler-Ried, replacing Aiken, was brilliant, knocking down 38 goals from just 40 attempts, while Shanice Beckford was almost lights out from the goal attack position, scoring 12 of her 14 attempts.

The four were largely too good for the efforts of T&T’s Samantha Wallace, 19 of 24, Jameela McCarthy, five of six, and Kalifa McCollin, 19 of 21.

Speaking about Aiken’s sub-par performance, Fowler-Reid, expressed confidence.

“There is no concern for Romelda. She will be ok for the next game. She just had to get over some jitters and remember how good a shooter she is,” said the skipper.

Fowler-Reid did issue a warning to her teammates though, saying South Africa were not the team to make the kind of mistakes they have, against.

“There are too many turnovers. These are unforced errors. Errors that we cause on our own. South Africa is going to punish us if we do that because they are an awesome team,” said Fowler-Ried.

While issuing the warning, the skipper did return to her confident base, saying she was sure the team would get it right when the time came to do so.

“We know what we can do and we can correct that in no time,” she said.

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls have always gone through issues with finances and preparations for this year’s Netball World Cup next month is no different. 

Netball Jamaica has named a strong and experienced squad that will go for glory at the Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England from July 12-21, 2019.

Dr Paula Daley-Morris, President of Netball Jamaica said the organisation is extremely grateful for the injection of cash from Jamaica’s sports ministry towards getting the Sunshine Girls to the Netball World Cup in Liverpool this summer.

Jamaica’s Senior Netball team, the Sunshine Girls, are now the third best team in the world based on the latest rankings released on Thursday.

Sunshine Girls goal defence Stacian Facey has signed to play with the Celtic Dragons when the Vitality Netball SuperLeague resumes in early 2019.

Captain Vangelee Williams believes the Sunshine Girls are inching ever closer to the likes of New Zealand, Australia and England, following their silver-medal finish in the recent Fast5 tournament in Australia.

Despite producing some of the best netball at the recently concluded Fast5 Netball World Series, Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls are not happy with the silver medal they earned in Melbourne Australia. 

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