Netballer Eboni Beckford-Chambers reflects on England’s series defeat
England Roses were beaten 64-57 by Jamaica in the decisive final game of the three-match Vitality Netball International Series on Sunday in Coventry.
The two sides were level, 46-46, going into the final quarter but the Sunshine Girls dominated their hosts to win by seven goals and secure the series.
Speaking exclusively to Sports Gazette, England defender Eboni Beckford-Chambers was quick to congratulate their Caribbean visitors.
She said: "Well done to Jamaica. We always knew today was going to be a tough challenge and I think they really set the pace right from the beginning.
"I think we were probably unlucky in the fourth quarter not to capitalise on some of the turnovers and finish in our attacking end.
"We didn’t turnover enough balls in the last quarter either, so we can’t leave it all the way until the fourth quarter in order to win the game."
However, the Team Bath player stressed that, despite the disappointing result, there were still plenty of positives for the Roses.
She said: "I think that there were some really good patches of play from England throughout the whole of the series.
"Obviously there are some people playing in different positions and I think we’ve really grown in terms of different combinations you’re seeing on the court.
"I thought we were actually really cohesive by the time we got to this last match and we were also able to blood some new younger talent. I thought Nat Haythornthwaite coming on at WA did a stellar job."
Tracey Neville’s side are currently in a four-year cycle with everything building towards the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2019 Netball World Cup.
Looking ahead to these major championship years, Beckford-Chambers outlined what England need to work on and improve in order to achieve success.
She said: "It’s just trying to put together four consistent quarters, building on our combinations, building up the confidence and sticking to the game plan."
Beckford-Chambers also showed her appreciation for the Coventry crowd, who roared with delight at every England goal and tried to spur the Roses onto victory in the final quarter.
She said: "They always are our eighth player. It was great in a new venue to see so many people turn out in support for us."
England Roses will next be in action in the first ever Quad Series on home soil as they welcome Australian Diamonds, New Zealand Silver Ferns and South Africa Proteas in February 2017.