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Jamaica Wins Netball Silver Medal, Wins New Fans

Jamaica’s classy netballer won silver at the Commonwealth Games after a hard-fought match against Australia on Sunday night.

It may be disappointing at first, but the Caribbean team was the team of the tournament and gained many new fans despite losing 55-51 to the NEC in Birmingham.

The 4th of July weekend’s silver medal was a bounty for the ‘Sunshine Girls’ who thrived at the netball tournament.

This was Jamaica’s first Commonwealth Games final while Australia were in contention for the seventh time in a row. Finally, experience speaks for itself. Winning a gold medal in netball gave the Australian her 1,000th gold medal.

Caribbean teams have world-class players and we have clearly seen their numbers advantage playing in Australia, considered a quality hub for the sport.

Jamaica beat the best team in the world in Birmingham, beating Australia in the final pool match and pitting world champions New Zealand in the semi-finals.

In many ways, Jamaica’s belief that they could win Commonwealth gold seemed to emerge when they beat neighbor Barbados by a staggering 103 to 24. Their desire was clear. After that they never lost it.

The final was huge publicity for the sport. It faded, flowed, got the whole heartbeat race.

First blood and goal went to the Australians, but Jamaican inspirational leader and goal shooter Janiere Fowler Reid quickly fought back.

Some of the plays were mesmeric from both sides. It was also a physical encounter with no quarters given. Errors were rare, but if anything, it was the Australians who made the early errors. Gutsy Jamaica fought back and lost 14-12 to Australia in the first 15 minutes.

Jamaican goal attacker Shanice Beckford opened the scoring early in the second quarter. She leveled the game moments. 14-14.

Then it was the Australian’s turn and goal shooter Gretel Vueta showed great skill in front of goal.

Popular: Jamaican outfit lit up tournament

The ‘Sunshine Girls’ won 18-17 courtesy of Fowler Reid and the Pro Jamaica Arena went wild. Jamaica dominated it now and looked good, at one stage they were him 22 to 18.

The Australian roared back to regain the lead. A simply devastating quarter ended at 29.

The third quarter was a game changer. Australia scored the first goal to lead 32–29. They picked up some more momentum and now the score is 37-30. The game was slipping away from Jamaica as the women in green quickly took a 39-30 lead.

With minutes remaining, Australia won the gold medal by 10 points. With 15 minutes left she went 45 -39.

Australia scored the first goal, and at this stage it was all about possession. Jamaica gave it their all, but Australia’s know-how was evident, turning a blind eye when it came to finding space on the court and taking chances.

Jamaica never gave up and kept scoring back. With five minutes remaining he was 52-46 and the Australian was almost there.

Australia emerged victorious after the match, but Jamaica fell short of an epic match in which both sides promoted netball in the best possible way.

Jamaica: Janiere Fowler, Shanice Beckford, Khadijah Williams, Nicole Dixon Rochester, Jodi Ann Ward, Latania Wilson, Shamela Sterling

Subs: Simona Nelson, Aiden Thomas, Rebecca Robinson, Shadian Hemmings, Cady Ann Dehaney

Coach: Connie Francis