Jamaica caused a major upset in netball when it topped Commonwealth Games gold medal favourites Australia after a stunning comeback on Thursday.
The Sunshine Girls qualified for the medal rounds with their 57-55 triumph over the Australia Diamonds, who were also through. They will play England or defending champion New Zealand in the semifinals on Saturday.
Jamaica overcame a six-goal deficit at the start of the last quarter to clinch their first triumph over Australia in the Games, with captain Jhaniele Fowler starring in attack.
Jamaica pulled off a surprise 57-55 win against Australia in Birmingham on Thursday
Fowler, who plays in Australia´s domestic competition for the Perth-based West Coast Fever, scored 47 goals from 50 attempts and said the win boosted her confidence in Jamaica´s hopes of winning the gold medal.
‘It´s a bit surreal to beat Australia in a Commonwealth Games,’ she said.
‘We´ve not done that before, but this team of ours is incredible and we went out there and proved everyone wrong and it feels so good.
Australia’s centre Kate Moloney, who started in place of the injured Paige Hadley conceded the Diamonds were disappointed with the result, but insisted there were positives to take despite the result.
The Diamonds squandered a six-goal lead against the Sunshine Girls at the NEC
The defeat is the Diamonds’ first loss to Jamaica in the history of the Commonwealth Games
Australia centre Kate Moloney (right) admitted the result was disappointing
‘We knew that they were going to come out hard and we are disappointed with the result,’ she said.
‘We’ll take some positives from it and look at some things we need to work on.
I knew we were going to have to be patient with the ball, they have a great defensive team. I think we let ourselves down with some execution stuff in that last quarter.
‘We were up by six goals. We probably should have been able to run that one out but when they have weapons like they do in their defensive end and their attacking end you never really have it – it can change so quickly.’