LIVERPOOL, England – Jamaica suffered their first defeat of the Netball World Cup when they went down to South Africa but the Caribbean powerhouses, along with regional counterparts Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, all advanced to the second round of the tournament here Sunday.
Playing at the M&S Bank Arena, the Sunshine Girls lost 52-55 while Barbados also experienced similar fortunes in a 41-65 defeat to Malawi.
Trinidad and Tobago, meanwhile, won their first match of the competition with a 67-56 verdict over Fiji, to sneak into the next round.
The top three teams from each of the four groups will now do battle in preliminaries stage two, comprising Group F and Group G.
Gunning for their third successive victory in Group C, Jamaica fell behind in the first quarter 6-16 and were dominated again in the second quarter, to trail 21-32 at the half-way stage.
They enjoyed their best period of the match in the third quarter when they out-scored South Africa 17-10, thanks to goal-shooter Jhaniele Fowler’s perfect 11-from-11 shooting.
With South Africa’s advantage reduced to 42-38 at the start of the final quarter, the game was now wide open but the Proteas held their own when it mattered to control the encounter late on and come away with an important win.
For Jamaica, Fowler scored 38 goals from 39 attempts including a perfect nine-from-nine performance in the second quarter while goal attack Shanice Beckford netted 14 from 19 attempts.
South Africa, meanwhile, were led by goal-shooter Lenize Potgieter who scored 36 from 39 and goal-attack Maryka Holtzhausen, who finished with 19 from 29.
Barbados slumped to their second defeat following Friday’s opening victory in Group B, after finding themselves behind 20-35 to Malawi at the half-time whistle.
There was little change in the penultimate quarter as they were out-scored 17-9 to trail 29-52, and the final quarter proved only a formality.
Barbados were spearheaded by Shonica Wharton who scored 15 goals from 18 attempts while goal attack Sheniqua Thomas chipped in with 12 from 16 attempts.
For the African nation, goal-shooter Joyce Mvula scored 31 from 33 attempts and was supported by goal attack Jane Chimaliro with 23 from 25.
Trinidad and Tobago
Coming off two straight losses in Group C, T&T redeemed themselves to finish strongly. Their catalyst was their experienced shooter Samantha Wallace who scored 40 from 42 attempts while Kalifa McCollin chimed in with 21 from 29 attempts.
Fiji were piloted by Lydia Panapasa’s 33 from 35 attempts and Unaisi Rauluni’s 23 from 26.
There was little double about the outcome when T&T stormed to a 23-10 first-quarter lead which they converted into a 40-25 advantage at the half.