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Commonwealth Games 2022, Australia vs Jamaica, netball, result, score, semi finals, table, points

Australia ended their gold medal campaign in Birmingham with a historic three-goal loss to Jamaica at the Commonwealth Games.

The Diamonds are expected to sail through their Pool A matches before taking on the second-placed team in Pool B in the semi-finals.

But they scored six goals going into the final term to inflict a first-ever defeat on the Sunshine Girls.

A brilliant 47 goals from international star Janiel Fuller and a brilliant defensive effort by Shamera Sterling gave Jamaica a 57-55 win.

Kathryn Cox of Fox Netball said the diamond “closed shop” in the final quarter as Jamaica ran home victorious.

Australia couldn’t get the ball back – great defending from Jamaica. They took it up another level in the fourth quarter,” she said.

Questions will be raised about coach Stacey Marinkovic’s selection, with Sarah Clough subbing into the former defense four minutes into the second half on Sunday.

Gretel Bueta scored 36 goals from 39 attempts to complete the diamond forward selection despite a quiet last quarter for Sterling.

Steph Wood’s night ended with 19 goals at 86 per cent.

Quarter by quarter match report

Australia opted to start wicketkeeper Gretel Bueta, with Steph Wood and Liz Watson out in front of her. Kate Moloney anchored the back three of Ash Brazil, Joe Weston and Courtney Bruce in midfield.

For Jamaica, Janiel Fuller started in GS, Beckford and Williams in GA and WA respectively. Nicole Dixon-Rochester was among the starting defenders in the Super Netball trio of Jodi-Anne Ward, Latanya Wilson and Shamera Sterling.

The world’s best shooter started the game brilliantly with five quick goals to open the first session for Jamaica.

Courtney Bruce put her West Coast Fever teammate up as far as Fowler could, but Shanice Beckford was smart around the rim to feed in from close range.

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Bruce and Joe Weston had received early advice, but at the other end it was Jamaica who was able to convert while his relationship with Gretel Bueta lagged behind.

“The Diamonds will be surprised here,” said analyst Sue Gaoun.

In the first seven minutes, Australia scored just three goals and Steph Wood scored from outside the area.

Jamaica took the lead again when Jodie-Ann Ward’s long interception caught the eye of Weston.

“They exposed the diamond defense again,” Gaudion said.

A quick double play by Bueta gave the Aussies the lead less than two minutes into the first period.

Coach Connie Francis was not impressed when the Sunshine girls threw a brilliant Sterling interception.

“But that’s the thing – those wonderful times are changing,” said analyst Kat Cox.

Australia led by one goal at the first break.

The Australians were left unchanged for the second time – the first time this tournament that coach Stacey Marinkevich opted for no changes after the break.

A great Sterling return gave Jamaica their first chance, but Courtney Bruce’s brilliant hands failed to make a difference in the game.

“There’s a lot of emotion out there,” Cox said.

“Courtney Bruce gives Beckford the death stare.”

The Aussies were able to keep an eye on their chances of feeding Bouta with Sterling, but the move continued to bear fruit.

With Shanice Beckford finding the edge of the circle, the Sungirls opted for a rare direct ball feed to Fowler.

“On the edge of the circle, feeding Fowler – invincible,” praised Cox.

A rare mistake by Bueta saw a replay called but Jamaica were unable to convert again as Khadija Williams was penalized for kicking.

“It’s easy to humiliate Jamaica, isn’t it,” Cox said.

Sunday Ariang was introduced in goal, joining Fever teammates Bruce and Fuller in the goal circle.

And she had an immediate impact, getting a tip for Fowler on a high ball, but she couldn’t stop the conversion in the end.

Beckford had a brilliant interception in front of Ash Brazil and suddenly the margin was back to one.

“Connie Francis volunteered,” praised Gaudion.

As she went along with the crossover feed, Wood supported her teammate Bueta, and Firebird didn’t let her down with good hands.

“The audacity to let that go past one of the best goalkeepers in the game … look at that move,” praised Cox.

Australia lead 30-29 at half-time.

Weston returned to the court as some bad hands by Wood allowed the Sun Girls to draw level early in the third.

Jamaica managed to get another reverse try but again dropped it at midfield.

“That long outside ball, I think if they shorten it and do a safety ball, they’re going to get themselves into the attack,” Cox said. Cox said.

A rare contact call on Fowler gave Australia the chance to get out. A cheeky peck from Sterling as Buetta put the ball up didn’t go unnoticed by the umpires as the lead suddenly went back to four.

The physicality increased in the third, Brazil got under the skin of Adean Thomas and dived from the ball into the goal circle.

Again, Ward’s lift on the edge of the circle ended with another deflection missing and sailing over Fowler’s head.

As the crowd began to find its voice, a second direct rejection from Sterling was called for obstruction.

A midfield ball ensured another turnover – the biggest of the game – as Diamond extended their lead to six.

A powerful tackle by Buetta on Sterling in the dying seconds put Australia ahead 46-40 at the final change.

Marinkevic was unchanged for the last time as Jamaican full-back Jodi-Anne Ward came out on the reverse.

Williams’ return to WA boosted the Sunshine Girls attack in the final period as they looked for Fowler to find their rhythm.

And Janiel Fowler made the Aussies pay seconds later to close within a goal when Wood failed to collect a short ball and finished for a replay.

Liz Watson finished the lob to Buetta, and in a surprise move the Sunshine Girls took the lead with eight minutes to play.

“We haven’t seen this game – it’s pressure. Such errors as diamonds are few and far between,” Cox said.

Jamaica assistant coach Rob Wright implored his defenders to block Wood’s influence, but it was Bueta who silenced Wood as he had to step up.

And the Lightning were up to the challenge with three consecutive mid-range shots.

Another Diamond change, this time from Weston to Vixens teammate Watson, gave Jamaica a two-goal lead when injury time was called.

Weston headed to the bench, Bruce pushed to GD and Sarah Clough introduced her first minutes of the night.

Jamaica scored with just over a minute to play when Shamera Sterling regrouped after great opposition.

And surprisingly, the Sunshine girls held on in the final seconds with Shanice Beckford scoring the final goal of the game.

In the end it was Jamaica who won 57-55.

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