Over the weekend, Jamaica, the world’s 4th ranked side welcomed 12th ranked side Barbados at the National Indoor Sports Centre. The test series marked the first for new Jamaican Coach Jermaine Allison-McCracken and marked Latonia Blackman (Vice Captain) 120th cap for Barbados.
Jamaica came into the series as the overwhelming favourites against Barbados, however they were held to a 44 – 44 draw in the first test match. The game went goal for goal before Barbados took the lead at 4-3. Jamaica only drew level once again at 11-11, shortly before the end of the quarter Jamaica took a 12-11 lead.
Barbados built up a 19-14 lead and maintained the advantage to 25-18. Kerry-Ann Brown came on at wing defence for Jamaica and Adean Thomas moved to centre as Jamaica chipped away at the deficit to end the half trailing 22-26.
In the third quarter the Sunshine Girls trailed only by a single point. The score was 34-35 going into the final quarter. The 4th quarter was goal for goal in the last 5 minutes with the eventual score being 44 – 44.
In the second test match Jamaica defeated Barbados 40 – 34 to take a 1-0 lead in the three-test international series. Both teams started well but it was Jamaica who took an early lead leading 12 – 9 at the end of the first quarter. At half time the hosts had extended their lead by one to 22 – 18. The score was 30-25 at the end of the third quarter, before Jamaica wrapped up the win.
The final match of the test series saw Barbados record its first ever victory over Jamaica, stunning the Sunshine Girls 43 – 41. This result meant the test series was tied at 1 – 1 since the first match was drawn. The Sunshine Girls led 11-8 at the end of the first quarter and 22 -18 at half time. Barbados fought hard in the third quarter and reduced the deficit to 32-31 at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was excitingly contested, as Barbados rallied to level the game at 35-35 with four minutes remaining in the match. In the final minutes Barbados made five turnovers to record their historic victory at 43 – 41.
Game 1: Jamaica 44 – Barbados 44
Game 2: Jamaica 40 – Barbados 34
Game 3: Jamaica 41 – Barbados 43