England v Jamaica: What does the rest of the series entail?
AFTER an action packed game one of the series mid-week, England and Jamaica do not have long to wait until they resume hostilities. Playing in front of a packed house in Manchester for the opening match, the series moves further south to the nation’s capital where London crowds get to enjoy the last two games.
Game one was like a tale of two halves, so it will be interesting to see whether games two and three spell a similar tale. Jamaica started really strongly, before the English got a second wind and came home really strong in the second half.
Jamaica started off really strongly defensively, despite missing two of their key defenders, but as the game progressed they began to make more and more simple errors, like wayward passing, which was unlike a team of their calibre.
The English really made them pay, capitalising on every single opportunity to truly make them pay. England had their own issues early, but made their opponents pay for their mistakes more than the English received in return.
What makes the next two games more daunting for the Jamaicans is that in game one the English were missing two of their regular stars.
Neither Geva Mentor nor Laura Malcolm were in the playing squad for the series opener, so if they are able to return for the weekend’s clashes, that makes things even tougher for the Jamaicans. The prospect of those two returning also makes things interesting for Jess Thirlby and her coaching staff.
Presuming Mentor goes back into the starting goal keeper role, will we see the likes of Funmi Fadoju out at wing defence? The key to defeating Jamaica really is to stop Jhaniele Fowler’s influence and the ball getting anywhere near her, and Fadoju is the player with the kind of flare to make that kind of difference at wing defence. She is also in good enough form that she deserves a starting spot on court.
For Jamaica, they really need to tidy up their passing, but also help Fowler out if her influence is getting quell and also really help out their defenders. Kadie-Ann Dehaney and Jodi-Ann Ward are not as experienced as the usual Jamaican defence end of Shamera Sterling and Latanya Wilson, so to make it easier on those two, the midcourt need to step up and ensure that the ball does not even get down to those two.
Game two of the series takes place Saturday afternoon English/ Sunday morning Australian time, while game three is Sunday afternoon English/ Monday morning Australian time.
*May also be considered for England A fixtures
Saturday January 14, 2.15pm local (1:15am, Jan 15 AEDT) – Copper Box Arena, London
Sunday January 15, 2pm local (1am, Jan 16 AEDT) – Copper Box Arena, London