International Netball Series: England V Jamaica

Having secured the Co-operative International Netball Series, coming into this last match, it was always going to be whether England would be able sustain the momentum to deny the Sunshine Girls something from the three match series. From being outplayed in the first two matches of the series Jamaica came to Nottingham looking to salvage one win from the three match series. 

In the first two matches, the games were won and lost in the first quarter. The Sunshine Girls started the match with greater purpose. It was goal for goal in the first 14 minutes with England only just creeping ahead with two late turnovers giving them two goals lead going into the second quarter. 

With a one goal lead at the end of quarter two, there was much optimism of a Jamaica victory. At the start of the second quarter Jamaica were quickly 3 goals ahead after using the first centre throw to their advantage. For perhaps the first time, they outplayed the home side through their speed of passing through the mid-court. The Sunshine Girls were much more determined and went into the third quarter 28 to 27. 

In an effort to stem the march of the Sunshine Girls, England shuffled the pack for the third quarter bringing on Sonia Mkoloma (GD), and Louisa Brownfield (GS), Karen Atkinson (WA) swapped bibs with Jade Clarke. Jamaica were forced into a substitution after Tracy-Ann Robinson (WD) was replaced by Sateva Taylor, after the ice-bag failed to work its magic on her injured leg. 

With less than four minutes to go to the close of play in the third quarter, the teams ranked 3rd and 4th in the world, were locked at 37-37. Lapses in concentration saw England edge this quarter 41 – 38: scoring four goals to Jamaica’s one in three and half minutes. 

Going into the last 15 minutes of the match England had the bit between their teeth and were determined not to let the lead slip, especially as the previous matches saw the Sunshine Girls rally in the final quarter. England ran out 55 to 49 winners with England’s skipper, Karen Atkinson, having achieved her 100th cap on the night, was named the Mitre Player of Match. 

Final score card:

Q1: 17-15 
Q2: 27-28 
Q3: 41-38 
Q4: 55-49