Belfast Telegraph

Caribbean class is just too hot for Irish girls

By Richard Bullick

Northern Ireland's netballers battled bravely, but predictably they couldn't cope with the height and athleticism of fourth seeds Jamaica.

The Caribbean girls comfortably triumphed 65-34 in the SECC arena to remain on course for a semi-final spot in Pool A.

By contrast Commonwealth newcomers Northern Ireland are still seeking their first victory of the Games – and it wont come next time out.

They face defending Commonwealth champions New Zealand tomorrow in what will be another damage limitation exercise against a vastly superior side.

Northern Ireland quickly cancelled out Jamaica's opening goal, but then looked in danger of being swept away. Jamaica reeled off seven goals before Lisa Somerville scored twice to stop the rot and Oonagh McCullough converted her own intercept.

Somerville scored Northern Ireland's fourth unanswered goal and McCullough's second kept her team in touch at 11-7, but then Somerville missed twice, Jamaica converted a penalty and they eased 17-9 clear by the end of the quarter.

Jamaica scored the first six goals of the second period before Caroline O'Hanlon got the greens going and both Somerville and McCullough netted, but they still trailed 35-17 at the halfway point.

Northern Ireland actually led the third quarter until halfway through with O'Hanlon increasingly influential and Noleen Lennon nailing most goal chances.

It was only 14-11 to Jamaica in the third quarter, but Northern Ireland lost the last 16-6 – not helped by some sloppy play and too many missed chances.

NORTHERN IRELAND: N Lennon, G Gibney, F Toner, C O'Hanlon, H Willis (capt), O McCullough, L Somerville. Subs: N Masters for Somerville, McCaffrey for Willis, Drayne for Toner.

Belfast Telegraph


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