Bajan blunder - McCracken promises Sunshine Girls reaction after disappointing tie
Long before her Sunshine Girls took the court, new coach Jermaine Allison-McCracken was at the centre of controversy and that tough start to life in charge of Jamaica's senior netball team continued following last night's disappointing 44-44 tie with low-ranking Barbados in their opening match of their Three-test series at the National Arena.
Allison -McCracken already has a point to prove ahead of tomorrow's second match at the same venue, however, the coach, who has come in for a lot of criticism in recent weeks after she sent home three senior players, has vowed that the Sunshine Girls will come out on top in the contest, which starts at 6:00 p.m.
"It is going to be hard but we are going to try our best to come out on top because this Barbados team will be coming at us," said Allison-McCracken, who has been in charge of the Sunshine Girls team since March.
"I think the Bajans really brought it and they were looking really good out there, but I do think that we have a couple of areas that we need to work on and so we have to look at the analysis ahead of Sunday's game."
Allison-McCracken, who is coaching at this level for the first time, sent home Khadijah Williams, Shanice Beckford and Nicole Dixon for what she deemed at "inappropriate behaviour.'
Senior team debut
She stated a lot of pressure will be on the other members of the squad to perform well in the remainder of the series against the 12th ranked Bajans.
The opening quarter was evenly contested as both teams traded goals at both ends of the court. However, the Sunshine Girls ended the period with a narrow 12-11 lead.
Goalshooter Shimona Nelson, who was making her senior team debut, netted eight goals for the Sunshine Girls in the period.
Goal attack Hasana Williams, who was also making her senior team debut for the Sunshine Girls, netted four goals in the first stanza.
Barbados came out firing on all cylinders in the second period as they outscored the Sunshine Girls 15-10 to take a 26-22 lead at half-time.
The Sunshine Girls played very poorly in the final two quarters and were outplayed at both ends of the court by Barbados.
In fact, it was Nelson's goal in the final minute, which to salvaged the draw for the Sunshine Girls, who lacked conviction and intensity for much of the contest.
Nelson topscored for the Sunshine Girls with 31 goals from 39 attempts, while Williams netted 13 goals from 15 tries.
Meanwhile, Latonia Backman led the way for Barbados with 32 goals from 33 attempts. She received support from Shenigua Thomas, who shot 12 goals from 13 tries.