Vitality Roses

55 - 45

Jamaica
28th November 2021
Vitality Roses Reunited Series
Copper Box, London
Report Stats

Match Results

Vitality Roses
Jamaica
Team 1 2 3 4 Extra Time Goals
Vitality Roses
10
15
16
14
55
Jamaica
11
15
9
10
45

Performance Stats

Vitality Roses Jamaica
Player Position G A GA APP R CPR I D P T
Total
Player Position G A GA APP R CPR I D P T
Total

Team Stats

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The Vitality Roses got their Vitality Roses Reunited Series campaign underway with a 55-45 victory against Jamaica at the Copper Box Arena on Sunday evening.

In front of a sell-out London crowd, England recorded their first win against the Sunshine Girls since the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup and now require just one more victory to secure the series.

Head Coach Jess Thirlby selected a strong starting VII for her side’s first game in front of home supporters since January 2020. Notably, Jo Harten made her England return after more than two years away.

The hosts had a poor record against their opposition, winning just three of their last 10 meetings against a side ranked just one place below them in the World Netball Rankings. 

It was evident from the first whistle that this game would also be a test of England’s resolve. Indeed, it was Jhaniele Fowler who sunk the first goal of the game before Jo Harten levelled the scores.

Shamera Sterling was proving a nuisance for the Vitality Roses’ famed shooting duo of Harten and Housby, who were made to work for each goal. This defensive pressure proved decisive and Jamaica ended the first quarter 10-11 in front.

The second quarter continued in the same vein but Jamaica’s narrow advantage had been wiped out within five minutes of the restart. Thirlby’s side had drawn level at 16-16 and, within minutes, found themselves ahead.

Fowler’s presence inside the circle meant Jamaica were always within touching distance of their English counterparts and were resultingly able to turn the game around. Connie Francis’ side finished the first-half 25-26 ahead.

It was a difficult start to the second half for the team in red who quickly found themselves further behind. However, key turnovers in the mid-court meant England were able to claw themselves ahead less than 10 minutes after the interval.

The introduction of Player of the Match Eleanor Cardwell – who performed admirably in the last meeting between these sides – coincided with this upturn in form and the Manchester Thunder shooter helped her side establish a six-goal lead.

It was a resounding ‘championship quarter’ for the Vitality Roses who had now firmly taken grasp of the contest and put themselves in the perfect position going into the final 15, leading by six goals.

England kept the Caribbean outfit at arm’s length throughout the remainder of this encounter with Eboni Usoro-Brown – returning after 861 days away – making a telling impact from the substitute bench.

Thirlby would have been proud of her side’s ability to weather a sustained period of Jamaican pressure in the first half before controlling the game after the break, which ultimately resulted in an impressive 55-45 victory.

The Vitality Roses Reunited Series continues next weekend when the Vitality Roses face Jamaica at Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena on Saturday 4 December and on Sunday 5 December. You can buy tickets for the event here.

Q1: 10-11

Q2: 15-15

Q3: 16-9

Q4: 14-10

Player of the Match: Eleanor Cardwell

Vitality Roses Starting VII: Stacey Francis-Bayman (GK), Layla Guscoth (GD), Beth Cobden (WD), Serena Guthrie (C), Natalie Haythornthwaite (WA), Helen Housby (GA), Jo Harten (GS).

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