Big statement by Sunshine Girls - Jamaica whip Barbados 103-24 at Commonwealth Games
Jamaica issued a powerful statement of intent by registering a rare century of points as they continued their unbeaten start to semi-final qualification at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, yesterday.
There have been countless big shows at the National Exhibition Centre but not so many greater than the record ton-up performance of the Sunshine Girls en-route to a 103-24 demolition of a plucky but outclassed Barbados.
Shimona Nelson led the way for Jamaica with 58 goals from 60 attempts. Captain Jhaniele Fowler played just 15 minutes and had 24 goals from 27 attempts.
The relentless stream of goals eclipsed the 100 scored against India at the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010 and coach Connie Francis said it was a marvellous way to celebrate Emancipation Day in Jamaica.
Yet, despite being delighted Francis still calmly cast a critical eye over the latest display from the side ranked fourth in the world but looking increasingly likely to muscle in on the medals again.
Having witnessed them win bronze in 2014 and 2018, the Sunshine Girls coach reflected:
"It has (still) been a journey of ups and downs.
"It still wasn't flawless, although we won by a lot.
"I've admired the effort in our attack but we must not keep giving away turnovers in our attack and it is important for our defence to remain clean because that will keep the umpires off of our backs.
"It is still a work in progress and we know that against a tougher opponent these things will cost us dearly."
Australia claimed a 95-18 win last Friday but Francis insisted that her side was not intent on making a statement to the tournament favourites.
"I've played on teams that have scored 100 but this side certainly hasn't done it in the three years I've been here.
"I've no preference of who we play in the semi-finals but it is good for the attack to know they can hit a target they set out to accomplish."
Despite the landslide victory Australia still lead Pool A on goal difference, while it is equally close in Pool B where hosts England are edging also unbeaten New Zealand into second place.
The Sunshine girls continue their bid for glory against Scotland today. In boxing Jamaica's Jerone Ennis produced a solid performance to defeat Australia's Billy McAllister in Round 16 of the men's light heavyweight division. In weightlifting Jamaica's lone finalist, Omarie Mears, finished 11th in the men's 81Kg (weightlifting) division.
In the snatch category Mears amassed a total of 126 points, while in the clean and jerk he collected 147 points to end with a total of 273 points, four points behind Scotland's Jason Epton in 10th place.
The competition was won by England's Chris Murray (325) while Australia's Kyle Bruce (323) and Canada's Nicolas Vachon (320) rounded off the top three.