Sunshine Girls aim to make final splash at World Cup that went terribly wrong

Sunshine Girls aim to make final splash at World Cup that went terribly wrong

Sanjay Myers
Sport Reporter
@ The Netball World Cup
In Liverpool, England

Sunday, July 21, 2019

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LIVERPOOL, England — Still grappling with the ignominy of missing out on the Netball World Cup semi-finals, Jamaica's Sunshine Girls have to make a big final push today if they are to take the consolation fifth place.

Standing in the way of the International Netball Federation second-ranked Jamaicans are Malawi, the world number nine team.

Match time is 11:15 am (5:15 am Jamaica time) inside M&S Bank Arena.

There is competitive history between the teams, with Jamaica beating the African nation by a mere goal when they clashed at the 2015 World Cup.

Jamaica's Assistant Coach Winston Nevers said he is expecting a spirited contest.

“We know how Malawi play, it's going to be tough and it's going to be hard because Malawi always have a good game against Jamaica. We are just going to try to execute, and by executing well we can come out victorious,” he told journalists.

Malawi, thrilling at times throughout the tournament, have defied the world rankings by beating Northern Ireland and Uganda — two teams rated above them.

Jamaica had not missed the World Cup semi-finals since 1995. Despite the setback, their camp has insisted they will fight tooth and nail to finish as high as possible.

Goalkeeper Kadie-Ann Dehaney said that limiting mistakes will be important if they are to escape the Malawi test and take fifth spot.

“We're going hard for that, there's nothing else we can fight for, so fifth place is definitely something we are going to reach out for with our two hands,” she said.

“We have to focus on our stopping. No team is going to be perfect. Errors are going to be made but it's what we do after that.”

Joanna Kachilika, the Malawi captain, said her teammates are fired up for the encounter.

“We're ready for them — in netball anything can happen. They've been playing their game, we've been playing our game, so anything can happen. We have the courage, and despite the lack of infrastructure back home, we have the passion and the heart to play the game.”

She acknowledged the height that the Sunshine Girls possess at both ends of the court, but noted that that was also the case four years ago.

“We are not afraid of their height, we know they are tall. In 2015 they beat us with one basket and they had tall girls, so we are just going to focus on our game,” she stressed.

The championship match will also be staged today, with defending three-time champions Australia squaring off with former winners New Zealand.

The bronze medal match will feature hosts England and surprise package South Africa.

In the seventh- and eighth-placed play-off, Zimbabwe face Uganda.

Today's matches

First session

Zimbabwe vs Uganda

Jamaica vs Malawi

Second session

England vs South Africa

Australia vs New Zealand

Yesterday's results

Barbados 42, Scotland 53

Northern Ireland 48, Trinidad and Tobago 57

Australia 55, South Africa 53

England 45, New Zealand 47

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