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Girls bounce back on Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:43 am

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Ricardo Makyn -Jamaica's Kimone Tulloch (right) tips the ball away from England's Sara Salmon during their second test match at the National Indoor Sports Centre last night. Jamaica won the match 52-45.

Netballers snap losing streak against England

Robert Bailey, Star Writer

Jamaica's Sunshine Girls put on a gutsy performance to defeat England 52-45 to level their best-of-two National Commercial Bank (NCB) Sunshine Series at the National Indoor Centre last night.

The Jamaicans began the match very confidently and quickly raced to a 10-6 lead midway the opening quarter. However, the English closed out the period strongly, as they went on a 7-3 run to tie the match at 13-13 by half-time.

Jamaica's head coach Connie Francis then brought on the experienced pair of centre Paula Thompson and wing defence Georgia Gordon to replace Sasher-Gaye Henry and Kimone Tulloch at the start of the second quarter. The move proved to be a very crafty one for the Girls, as they mesmerised the English with their swift one-two passing and off the ball movements.

They were dominant at both ends of the court, with ace goal shooter Romelda Aiken scoring six straight goals to push the hosts into a commanding 31-23 lead at half-time, much to the delight of their cheering spectators.

Aiken received good support at the other end, from defenders Kasey Evering and Althea Byfield who also had an excellent first half for the Jamaicans, as they intercepted a number of passes to England's goal shooters Pamela Cookey and Jo Harten.

39-34 lead

In the third quarter the Jamaicans allowed a bit of complacency to set in and allowed the English back into the match. The Sunshine Girls were outscored 11-8 by the visitors. However, they still managed to hold on to to a 39-34 lead at the end of the period.

The Sunshine Girls, came out very fiery and determined in the final quarter and played as if their lives depended on the match. The packed crowd also did their job by cheering the Jamaicans on, as the English mounted a strong rally in the final two minutes of the game to cut the deficit to 48-45. However, Aiken, who had been in spectacular shooting form all night, scored the next four goals, to carry the Jamaicans home to a comfortable victory.

Aiken topscored for the Sunshine Girls with a game-high 38 goals from 47 attempts and received good support from captain Simone Forbes 13 goals from 15 tries. Cookey 27 goals from 33 attempts and Harten 18 goals from 26 tries scored the goals for England.

"I think it was an excellent performance from us tonight. I thought our girls really played well," said Francis.

"They were very determined from the opening whistle that they were going to win, they did, and I am very happy," Francis said.




[Art is science made clear.]

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