Tue | May 28, 2024

Sunshine Girl wins Player of the Week award

Published:Friday | April 19, 2024 | 12:09 AM
Shamera Sterling-Humphrey
Shamera Sterling-Humphrey

MELBOURNE, Australia (CMC):

Jamaica defensive ace Shamera Sterling-Humphrey continued to earn accolades in the Super Netball League in Australia after she was named Player of the Week for her performances in the first round of the new season.

The 28-year-old defender, winner of the 2023 Super Netball League Player of the Year award, gave further proof that there are few defenders in the sport right now that are better than her with a stifling performance that earned host and champions Adelaide Thunderbirds a 63-62 win against Queensland Firebirds.

Facing prominent goal shooter Donnell Wallam is no easy task, but Sterling-Humphrey prove she was not fazed by the challenge, and she finished the match with six intercepts, 10 deflections, and two rebounds to foil several attempts from the visitors to run away with the contest.

Two of the deflections for Sterling-Humphrey came in the final quarter when the match appeared on the line, and she stepped up, swooping to gain valuable possessions to get the T-birds firing in their bid for back-to-back premierships.

The T-birds appeared under pressure when the Firebirds ended the third quarter with momentum and headed into the final stanza trailing by only one goal.

With the scores locked up, Remi Kamo picked up a loose feed for the Firebirds, but Sterling-Humphrey immediately reciprocated with an intercept to regain possession for the hosts on their centre pass.

The defensive intensity from the T-birds really lifted in the final quarter, with both Sterling-Humphrey and her Jamaica teammate Latanya Wilson gaining much-needed balls, but the Firebirds maintained their calm and remained goal-for-goal with them.

The final Power Five was the deciding period in the match, with both teams stepping up in both defence and attack – but a missed Super Shot – that counts for two goals – on the buzzer from Wallam meant that the champs came away with the win.

Sterling-Humphrey will have her hands full when the T-birds face hosts Melbourne Vixens in the second round on Saturday at John Cain Arena, and she meets the Australia World Cup-winning scoring duo of Sophie Garbin and Kiera Austin.