Jamaica finished fourth at the Netball World Cup. Sixteen teams participated. After months of intensive training, improved nutrition packages, foreign coaching etc., Jamaica finished fourth. The good book reports that Jesus told Lazarus to come forth. I am confident that this should not be interpreted as a directive to the Sunshine Girls in international competition. Besides, he is reported to have said ‘forth’, not fourth. Sometimes third, most times fourth, has been the mantra of our Sunshine Girls for too long. I maintain that our Girls are much, much better than fourth out of 16. Our Girls deserve better. I am hoping that after the hype and promises of the leaders of the team before departure, decency will prevail and resignations offered. We started every match in this tournament the same way, outplaying and outscoring our opponents, then they make tactical adjustments, we don’t, and we lose. In the third-place play-off against England – who we beat for bronze medal in the last Commonwealth Games in Scotland – Jamaica finished the first quarter five goals ahead of their English opponents. England never panicked. After the defeat in the Commonwealth Games, they changed coach, who immediately began concentrating on the defensive aspect of their game. Thus, the act of falling behind to Jamaica in the first quarter meant that tactics and personnel needed adjustment. Experienced defender Sonia Mkoloma was inserted (her acrobatic interceptions defied gravity) and wing defender Serena Guthrie adjusted her style, cutting off looping balls to our ace shooters, resulting in a humiliating exit for our Girls, beaten by a whopping 22 goals. The advocates of mediocrity, who seem to revel in the fact that the Sunshine Girls are the highest ranked Jamaican team in international competition, are doing our girls a great disservice. We are better than sometimes third, most times fourth. All these girls need is proper coaching. As the start of the World Athletics Championships in Beijing, China, gets closer, the awful spectre of doping with impunity by elite athletes continues to grab headlines. I repeat the fact that the best weapon against doping in sports now seems to be confessions and leaks. The defenders of elite dopers seem to have a morbid fear of “bringing the sport into disrepute”, and will do everything in their power to hide information, quite oblivious to the fact that this lack of transparency only serves to provide incentive to dopers. At the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, a group of university professionals got permission from the World Anti Doping Association (WADA) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to interview 1,800 of the athletes at the Championships. They discovered that an astonishing 29-34 per cent of the athletes confessed to violating the rules of doping in the previous 12 months. This information could have alerted national anti-doping agencies to add ‘target testing’ to their regime, thus increasing the possibility (however, remote that might be) of unmasking elite cheaters. Transparency is the key to good governance and ought not to be feared by those who have nothing to hide.
Donegal 2-13 Derry 0-9: Donegal cantered to an easy win against Derry at MacCumhaill Park this afternoon.Donegal dismantled a poor Derry side with a fine team performance that was probably over as a contest at half-time.Tyrone will be a completely different task in the semi-final at Clones but Jim McGuinness can be more than happy with the development of his squad. All over the pitch his team showed the appetite for a fight with fine performances from defence to attack.The game was played in very slippy conditions with both sides finding it difficult to control the ball.However Donegal had the better of the exchanges with the Donegal half-back line proving particularly effective.Donegal could be further ahead but for a habit of overplaying the ball in attack in the last third of the pitch. Colm McFadden and Paddy McBrearty have been working hard up front as has Karl Lacey who is doing a terrific job on Derry’s dangerman Paddy Bradley.Despite being in control, Donegal were still only 0-4 to 0-2 after 25 minutes played with Derry’s defence working very hard.Leo McLoone scored a fine point to make it 0-5 to 0-2 after 26 minutes.Three minutes later Paddy Bradley pulled a point back after Frank McGlynn fouled Lynn.Donegal made a vital break on the half hour mark when Colm McFadden broke through on the left wing and cut in. He was eventually dispossessed but the ball fell to Leo McLoone who hit the back of the net from close range to make it 1-5 to 0-3.Paddy Bradley pulled another point back after a foul with a fine long range kick.Donegal continued to work hard up until the break and Michael Murphy put his name on the scoresheet with a free just before the break.Donegal should be further ahead but they looked solid as the teams went in with Donegal leading 1-6 to 0-4. Derry needed to liven things up from the restart but failed to do so.They looked flat and allowed Donegal to cut through their midfield as Derry packed their defence.After seven minutes of the restart Donegal’s hard work paid off.Having hunted in a pack to close down a Derry attack, Donegal broke up the field and they eventually found McFadden who drilled the ball home to make it 2-7 to 0-4.Derry looked to change things and brought off Enda Lynn, who impressed early on, to be replaced by Patsy Bradley.Paddy Bradley got his fourth point a short time later for Derry in what was his fourth converted free kick.Murphy popped over another free as Derry resorted to jersey pulling which didn’t escape the referee.David Walsh, who enjoyed a fine game, finished a fine move for Donegal with a direct point in the 51st minute to make it 2-9 to 0-5.Even big Neil Gallagher, not exactly known for his scoring prowess, took a point when he latched onto a lovely flick-on from Buncrana player Ryan Bradley.With ten minutes still to go Derry fans voted with their feet when many began to leave the ground.Ryan Bradley capped off a super performance with a point in the 60th minutes.Paddy McBrearty almost got an ‘A’ after just completing his Leaving Cert when his shot came back off the upright in the 63rd minute.Things couldn’t get worse form Derry when Donegal goalkeeper pulled of a terrific reflex save from Michael Lynch with five minutes to go.Stephen Griffin and Dermot Molloy came on for McFadden and McLoone to shake things up for Donegal with a few minutes to play.Glenfin’s Frank McGlynn was named man of the match but it could have been any one of half a dozen Donegal players including Ryan Bradley, Mark McHugh, Patrick McBrearty and Leo McLoone amongst others.DONEGAL CANTER TO VICTORY OVER A FLAT DERRY SIDE was last modified: June 16th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)