Australia’s Commonwealth Games netball campaign has been dealt a blow, with the Diamonds falling to Jamaica in a thrilling pool match in Birmingham.
- The Diamonds led by six goals ahead of the final quarter
- Jamaica captain Jhaniele Fowler was outstanding with 47 goals
- The Diamonds will play either England or New Zealand in the semi-finals
Jamaica trailed by as many as six goals heading into the final quarter, but finished in resounding fashion to overhaul the Diamonds with a 57-55 victory.
It is the first time in Commonwealth Games history that Jamaica has defeated Australia in netball.
The win means unbeaten Jamaica tops Pool A ahead of the Diamonds, who will play either England or New Zealand in the semifinals.
Jamaica captain Jhaniele Fowler, who plays for West Coast Fever in Super Netball, had a starring role in her team’s win with 47 goals.
Shanice Beckford provided a valuable 10-goal haul.
Gretel Bueta was the Diamonds’ top scorer with 36 goals, while Steph Wood added 19.
Fowler was unstoppable for Jamaica, with no one in the Diamonds squad able to counter her size and strength.
Jamaica’s game plan was evident from the outset: get the ball to Fowler early and often, and by whatever means necessary.
It turned the center third into a battleground as players hit the deck on numerous occasions.
The Diamonds had not lost a single quarter all tournament, but on the back of Fowler doing what she wanted Jamaica jumped out to a 7-3 lead.
The Diamonds worked their way back into the contest with Bueta matching Fowler’s 10 first-quarter goals as they took a one-goal lead to the first break.
They started imposing themselves in the second quarter to open up a 27-23 lead, but to the delight of the crowd Jamaica stormed home to get within one goal at the long break.
The third quarter was dominated by the Diamonds, who jumped out to a six-goal lead before Jamaica’s late surge in the final term.