Jamaica upset Silver Ferns 59-51

Jamaica have upset the Silver Ferns in a dominating 59 to 51 win in the Taini Jamison Trophy Series at the North Shore Events Centre.

The unassuming Jamaicans did well to find early momentum against the Silver Ferns in the first half with their seasoned attack end - including the might of former Southern Steel shooter Jhanielle Fowler-Reid.

A majority of the New Zealand side had not played Jamaica before last night, having last played them in 2016, and at the end of the first quarter it showed with the score deadlocked at 13 all.

The second stanza saw no player changes at both ends and the Sunshine Girls took advantage by pulling out to a six goal lead.

Frustration clearly started to settle in for the Silver Ferns with uncharacteristic penalties emerging in the mid-court and despite Te Paea Selby-Rickit shooting at 100% and Bailey Mes working hard to feed the ball through, the absence of veteran shooter Maria Folau was felt.

With the Silver Ferns needing to make a statement in the third quarter Shannon Francois took her place on the bench in her 50th international test match as they welcomed Temalisi Fakahokotau and Claire Kersten into defence giving the world number four side attack to think about.

Fakahokotau made instant impact with an intercept and four deflections sending confidence through the court, but with simple shots under the hoops going missing they were still unable to claw back the lead with the visitors finishing third quarter time 44 to 41.

The final quarter surprisingly saw no changes for the New Zealanders while Jamaica introduced Queensland Firebird shooter Romelda Aiken who took the game to its biggest lead of the night at 10 goals. The home-side desperate to make a dent in the score brought on Ameliaranne Ekansio in goal shoot and Jury to return to goal keep.

In their first win against the Silver Ferns since 2009 the Jamaicans held on to win 59 to 51 and stamp their mark as serious medal contenders ahead of the Commonwealth Games next month.

The Silver Ferns will have a chance at redemption when Folau makes her much needed return to the side as attention turns to Fiji in the final round of the series today.

Earlier last evening despite a second half comeback from Fiji, Malawi's well-seasoned combinations were too strong taking the win 67 to 52.