• Tuesday, 25 June 2024
Vitality Roses: England secure Jamaica series with emphatic victory in Nottingham

Vitality Roses: England secure Jamaica series with emphatic victory in Nottingham

England’s Vitality Roses secured the three-Test series against Jamaica with an emphatic 66-47 result against the Sunshine Girls on Saturday afternoon.

Jess Thirlby's outfit, who were disappointed by their performance in the opening match, were formidable from the outset in Nottingham.

A 21-13 first quarter set the tone for the encounter and while Jamaica looked lost, England were ruthless in both attack and defence.


The Roses doubled their lead to 35-19 at half-time and then used the second half to showcase their strength in depth and win a series against Jamaica for the first time since 2013.

Despite securing the opening game of the series 55-45, Thirlby and her players had been dismayed by their start and promised that there was a lot more to come overall.



In front of a roaring crowd at the Motorpoint Arena, England's players instantly hit their straps and made Jamaica, the fourth-ranked team in the world, look flustered and confused.

England vs Jamaica - Starting sevens

England Jamaica
GS - Jo Harten GS - Jhaniele Fowler
GA - Eleanor Cardwell GA - Shanice Beckford
WA - Nat Haythornthwaite WA - Gezelle Allison
C - Serena Guthrie C - Latanya Wilson
WD - Beth Cobden WD - Shadian Hemmings
GD - Layla Guscoth GD - Shamera Sterling
GK - Eboni Usoro-Brown GK - Kadie-Ann Dehaney

Eleanor Cardwell and Jo Harten were outstanding in the Roses' shooting end and displayed excellent chemistry, despite being a new partnership.

The pair did not let Shamera Sterling or Kadie-Ann Delaney get involved at all and were found easily by player of the match, Nat Haythornthwaite and Serena Guthrie.

The Roses' early fluidity saw them notch up 21 goals in the first 15 minutes and they used the second quarter to double their advantage.

Continued interceptions from Beth Cobden had the crowd on their feet, Eboni Usoro-Brown closed the route into Jhaniele Fowler and Jamaica went through a number of combinations as they tried to find some answers.

England vs Jamaica - Quarter-by-quarter scores

  Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 FT
England 21 14 14 17 66
Jamaica 13 6 14 14 47

Test matches between now and the 2022 Commonwealth Games next July are limited, so the fact that Thirlby was able to turn to her bench during the latter stages of the first half and second, will stand England in good stead.

Imogen Allison and Sophie Drakeford-Lewis both equipped themselves well at WD and WA, while Stacey Francis-Bayman linked up strongly with Usoro-Brown in defence.

England's most-capped player Jade Clarke provided experience in mid-court and after a shaky performance together during the first Test, Harten and Helen Housby looked back to their best when deployed at GS and GA.

With the series now secured, Thirlby has the chance to try further combinations on Sunday if she wishes to. George Fisher, Laura Malcolm and Fran Williams are three of the players yet to take to court. Funmi Fadoju was not available for squad selection on Saturday due to injury.

For Jamaica, questions will continue to be asked and Connie Francis' side must forget this second contest and return reinvigorated ahead of the final match of this three-Test series.

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