England netball: Roses beat Jamaica 55-45 in dominant series opener

Serena Guthrie and Jo Hartnet of Vitality Roses and Kadie Ann Dehaney of Jamaica battle for the ball
The Roses fought back against a skilful Jamaica side

England beat Jamaica 55-45 in a dominant second-half display in the first of their three-part series in London.

The Roses trailed at half-time before finding their rhythm in the third quarter to turn the game around.

Head coach Jess Thirlby said: “To come away with a 10-goal win is pretty impressive when we know we haven’t quite hit our straps yet.”

The two remaining matches takes place next weekend in Nottingham.

It was a hesitant start from the Roses as Jamaica’s skilful delivery of highballs paired with the precision of Jhaniele Fowler caused significant issues in the England defence.

Thirlby looked to her bench for a breakthrough and that’s what experienced goal attack Ellie Cardwell provided, helping the Roses find their feet just before half-time.

Cardwell’s upper body strength proved hard to beat, as Cardwell and Jo Harten linked up to put the Roses back in the game.

On her relationship with Harten, she said:”I like the connection that me and Jo Harten have, it’s nice to have her back in the team.”

“I’m so proud of all of those girls. That’s down to all of the hard work they’ve put in. It’s a great team to be a part of,” she added.

England showed accuracy under pressure in the final quarter, with Beth Cobden providing drive and attack to extend their lead to 10 points.

The ‘Vitality Roses Reunited Series’ comes after the previously planned contest between the Roses and Jamaica was postponed back in January due to the coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions in place between the two countries.

Quarter-time scores

Q1 – 10-11

Q2 – 25-26

Q3 – 41-35

Q4 – 55-45

Starting seven

England: GK Francis, GD Guscoth, WD Cobden, C Guthrie, WA Haythornthwaite, GA Housby, GS Harten

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