Facing the number-one team in the world twice in the same tournament proved a hill too steep to climb for Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls on Sunday after losing 55-51 to the now four-time Commonwealth Games champions Australia in the gold medal match at the NEC Arena.

Despite heroic efforts from Captain Jhanielle Fowler who scored 46 goals from 47 attempts and a perfect five from Shanice Beckford, Jamaica found the Diamonds too hard to break the second time around.

Jamaica defeated Australia 57-55 to win Pool A in the preliminary rounds and followed up with an emphatic 67-51 victory over New Zealand, the second-best team in the world that claimed the bronze medal Sunday morning after defeating England 55-48.

In the gold-medal encounter, the Australians edged Jamaica 14-12 in a keenly contested first quarter but the Jamaicans showed grit rebounding to win the second quarter 17-15 to see both teams remain deadlocked at the half-time break.

Australia broke the game open in the third quarter outscoring the Jamaicans 16-10 to take a six-point lead into the final stanza. Australia extended the lead to seven goals late in the quarter but Jamaica was not prepared to yield and fought valiantly outscoring the champions 12-10 but it was simply not enough.

Jamaica missed only one shot from 52 attempts during the final.

Gretel Bueta led the scoring for the Commonwealth champions, shooting a perfect 37 goals from 37 attempts. Cara Koenen was also perfect scoring 15 goals from 15 attempts.

The Sunshine Girls will leave Birmingham with a silver medal their highest ever placing at the Commonwealth Games.

 

 

 

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls rallied from a six-point fourth-quarter deficit to stun three-time gold-medallists Australia to top Pool A at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Thursday.

In the intense battle between the unbeaten top two teams in the pool, Jamaica led by Jhanielle Fowler’s 47 goals from 50 attempts and Shanice Beckford’s perfect 10 from 10, outscored the Diamonds 17-9 to pull off their first victory over the three-time champions at the Commonwealth Games.

Australia enjoyed a slim one-goal lead at the end of the first quarter 14-13 but as Jamaica gained confidence they matched the Australian’s 16-16 to remain one goal down at the half-time break.

The experienced Australians surged to a five-goal lead in the third quarter, winning the stanza 16-11 before the Jamaicans, the only team to score 100 goals in a match at this year’s Games, turned the game on its head with a 17-9 score-line to get a famous victory. Jamaica levelled the score with eight minutes to go before taking the lead for good with four minutes left to play.

Australia’s Gretel Bueta led the Diamonds’ scoring with 36 goals from 39 attempts while Steph Wood scored 19 goals from 22 tries in the losing cause.

There were no surprises at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Wednesday night when Jamaica demolished Trinidad and Tobago 73-22 to complete a sweep of the Margaret Beckford Sunshine Series.

Led by Jhaniele Fowler’s near-perfect shooting, Jamaica took a 2-0 lead over Trinidad and Tobago, after winning 64-32 in the Margaret Beckford Sunshine Series at the National Indoor Sports Complex on Tuesday.

Fowler, arguably the best shooter in the world, did not start as Sunshine Girls head coach Connie Francis chose to open with Gezelle Allison and Shanice Beckford. However, the pair of attackers were unable to sufficiently spur the Jamaican attack as the first quarter ended 12-8.

They fared slightly better in the second quarter and they extended the four-point lead to 10 to lead 24-14 at halftime.

However, once Fowler was substituted in at the start of the third quarter, the Sunshine Girls got an immediate lift and extended their lead to 22 and led 44-22 at the end of the third. Fowler would eventually score 36 goals from 38 attempts as Jamaica won by 32.

Allison finished with 13 goals from 20 attempts while Shanice Beckford scored 12 from 14.

Afisha Noel led the scoring for the Calypso Girls with 17 goals from 20 attempts with support from her captain Kalifa McCollin, who scored 15 goals from her 16 attempts.

Jamaica will go for the sweep tonight when the teams meet again in the final match of the series.

 

Sunshine Girls Head Coach Connie Francis is expecting a much better performance from her shooters when they play Trinidad and Tobago in the second game of their series at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Tuesday.

Jamaica demolished their Caribbean rivals 71-22 on Saturday night with Jhaniele Fowler leading the way with 43 goals. Defensively, Jamaica was stifling limiting their opponents to only six second-half goals in a comprehensive victory.

However, Francis was not pleased with certain elements of the Jamaican execution.

“I was a bit disappointed with the shooting. I thought we were more than capable of doing a better job,” said Francis, who said the only player who she would excuse was Shanice Beckford who has not played in 18 months.

“I thought Jhaniele was too casual. Her style has changed a bit since she began playing in the Super League. She is not catching or elevating as she usually does.”

Francis also believes the team needs to tighten up defensively.
“Trinidad was able to get the ball through from the Jamaica attacking area into midcourt and into their shooting area without much pressure,” she explained.

She said she plans to tackle those areas of concern before the next game on Tuesday.

“We have a training session today (Sunday) and another on Tuesday morning, these ladies are professionals playing in leagues abroad, we should be capable of making those adjustments,” she said.

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