Commonwealth Games: England go down to Jamaica in netball bronze medal match
Last Updated: 03/08/14 2:40pm
Romelda Aiken and her Jamaican team-mates celebrate victory against England in the bronze medal match
England suffered yet more netball heartbreak as they went down to Jamaica in the bronze medal match 52-48 at the Commonwealth Games.
England went into the match having already been left crestfallen after losing their semi-final by a single point to defending champions New Zealand on Saturday.
In a frantic and keenly contested clash at a packed SSE Hydro in Glasgow, both sides were neck and neck for long periods and it took until the final quarter for the Sunshine Girls to break England's resistance before edging away thanks to a couple of crucial turnovers.
The scores were level at 37-37 going into the final quarter, but England's level dropped when it mattered most as they slipped from 48-47 behind to 51-47 down and from that point there was no way back.
Goalshooting dynamo Romelda Aiken was on fire for Jamaica scoring an impressive 44 goals, including 15 in the final quarter, which proved invaluable, while defensively, they kept England at bay.
Anna Mayes' side came out determined to make up for the loss against the Silver Ferns, but Jamaica, who were well-beaten 57-42 in their semi-final by the Australia team England ran so close, nullified their attacking options before opening up a clear advantage late on in the match and comfortably holding on to seal victory.
"Today we didn't bring it," said goalkeeper Geva Mentor, who was left battered and bruised by a physical contest. "Jamaica were the best team on the day, they held strong all the way through and withstood the pressure we kept applying, but we didn't capitalise when we did get that ball.
"Jamaica were the best team on the day, they held strong all the way through and withstood the pressure we kept applying, but we didn't capitalise when we did get that ball."
"It was very physical, you can tell that from my fat lip and I've got a shiner coming up as well. It's a shame the umpires can't see the retaliation, but we just have to withstand that. We have to be quick enough and skilful enough to be able to lose the body so we don't get caught in the face.
"Yesterday's was definitely (harder to swallow). I'm not even upset, I think it just sums up this tournament for me. Anger will probably start to set in and a few different emotions, but at the moment I am pretty emotionless."
Meanwhile, head coach Mayes said: "I think we were a little bit tentative, a little bit nervous, especially in that first half. We did wear them down defensively, but we just weren't clinical enough when we needed to be.
"They fed Romelda well, they converted when they needed to and she rebounded well when she missed, so that was difficult."
In the final, top-ranked Australia left New Zealand in their wake with a crushing 58-40 victory to end their 12 year wait for a gold medal at the Games.
The Silver Ferns had been aiming for third consecutive gold medal, but the Diamonds added to their status as world champions and No 1 side by adding the Commonwealth title, which they will now look to defend on the Gold Coast in four years' time.