JAMAICA’S netball coach Minneth Reynold is predicting a strong comeback from her players in today’s third and deciding match versus England in the Supreme Ventures Sunshine Series.
Play is scheduled to begin 7:30 pm at the National Indoor Sports Centre. The series is tied at 1-1 after the teams split back-to-back games. On Saturday, the fourth-ranked Sunshine Girls crushed the rustylooking England Roses 56-47.
A day later, the third-ranked English women played a suffocating defensive game and were clinical in attack to win 55-47 in an encounter which was called off one minute and 15 seconds early due to a power outage.
Jamaica and England, perennial challengers for the third-placed world ranking behind the powerful pair of Australia and New Zealand, are using this contest to prepare for the World Netball Championship in Australia later this year.
Expectedly stung by the reverse in results, Reynolds vows her team will be sharper today.
“We didn’t win… but we have another match to go. We have to come better; we have no choice so we have to come better,” she told the Jamaica Observer after the loss. “We need to look at where we went wrong and fix it for the next game. The series is still alive; it’s 1- 1.
We didn’t put that pressure on their shooters like we did in the first game and they capitalised on it.” Reynolds argued that a few changes, due to injury, forced the coaching staff to shuffle the team and deploy some players in unfamiliar positions.
“We made a few changes and we were forced to make those changes because of a few injury concerns.
We had concerns to our starting goal attack as well as our centre.” Anna Mayes, the England head coach, expects a fierce battle for the series decider. “I think defensively we were outstanding [on Sunday]. There was a lot of pressure all the way throughout the court.
“I think on Tuesday it’s going to be a hotly contested game. I’m sure Jamaica won’t be happy with that performance. I’m sure they are going to come out hard so I expect the same from us,” Mayes said.
The last time Jamaica hosted England in a Test series, the latter swept to an emphatic 3-0 victory in the spring of 2013.
The countries clashed in a one-off encounter in January 2014 and hosts England were again the winners. The Sunshine Girls avenged those defeats at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, beating England for the bronze medal prize.