Just in from Netball Jamaica:
Day 8 featured the must win clash against the #5 ranked Malawi Queens. The starting 7 included, GS Romelda Aiken, GA Shanice Beckford, WD Khadijah Williams, C Paula Thompson (Vice-Capt), WA Sasher-Gaye Henry, GK Nicole Aiken-Pinnock (Capt) and GD Stacian Facey.
In what was a physical match up, the Sunshine Girls stepped up and put their feet down on the court, dominating the battling Queens. GA Shanice Beckford proved too much of a handful with her movement, shooting and passing for her opponents to keep track of her. C Paula Thompson and WA Sasher-Gaye Henry were on point with their passing to GS Romelda Aiken who shot 25/26 in the first half. The Girls closed the first quarter 19:13 and held off the battling Queens in the second half to extend their lead from 5 to 9 go into the half time break 38:29 in full control.
The third quarter saw the introduction of GA Anna Kay Griffiths for Shanice Beckford and the intensity of the game hit fever pitch with Malawi battling back to close the third quarter trailing 46:48. Beckford returned in the fourth quarter and it was a test of nerves as both teams traded centre passes and turnovers. GS Romelda Aiken stood tall and continued her excellent form, ending up shooting 44/48 for the match. The Malawi Queens had the majority of the Arena cheering them on in the fourth quarter, bringing great pressure on the Sunshine Girls. The Girls however, determined not to be undone, stood firm and withstood the collective pressure being brought to bear and maintained their centre passes to prevail 63:62 at the final whistle.
The die has now been cast for the semi-final match up against the #1 ranked (but already beaten in this tournament) Australians. Destiny beckons and the Girls are ready to answer. 11:20pm Friday night (Jamaica time). Don't miss history in the making.
Remember to visit www.nwc2015.com.au for comprehensive match stats, results, photos, short videos and other interesting features as well as the Netball Jamaica FB page for great info.
Going for Gold!