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It came right down to the wire in the playoff for fifth in the Fast5 World Series, with scores locked after regular time. Play was extended for one minute of overtime and when the teams still couldn’t be separated, a golden goal situation ensued.

With shooters from both teams missing during the golden goal period, it was Shantal Slater of Jamaica that kept a cool head and scored the winning goal for her country.

The first quarter of the playoff for fifth and sixth place began with some inaccurate shooting from Jamaica, handing South Africa a 7-3 advantage at the first break.

Ine-Marie Venter found her form for South Africa in the second quarter, shooting four goals, including two from outside the circle, to push the South African lead out to five at the half time break with the score 13-8.

Jamaica made their opportunities count during their power play, scoring 20 points including two supershots from Vanessa Walker to give the Jamaicans some ascendancy. South Africa handled the Jamaican power play conservatively, taking every chance they could get, scoring seven points of their own, including one supershot from Charmaine Baard. Jamaica took a 28-20 lead into South Africa’s power play quarter.

Jamaica shut down the South African power play expertly, passing the ball around and managing the clock to maintain their lead, but a supershot from Charmaine Baard with two minutes to go brought the South Africans to life. Slater scored for Jamaica with 30 seconds left to tie the score at 32-all. Jamaica squandered two shots on goal in the last 15 seconds, for the final score to remain tied at 32-all, with an overtime period of one minute to come.

Slater and Venter both scored for their teams in the one minute overtime period for scores to remain locked at the buzzer.

“I don’t think you worry about the tiredness, it is more the focus and the stress of the shots sinking in. I think my team handled it really well,  but it was a lot of stress,” explained Venter.

A golden goal period ensued, with Jamaica receiving the centre pass. Jamaica missed two shots and turned the ball over to South Africa who missed two shots of their own. After a tousle, the South Africans retained the ball, missing another two shots before Jamaica punished the inaccurate South Africans with Slater scoring the winning goal.  

“I think we just wanted to take it one step at a time and just give it our best and we wanted to win. We didn’t want to be the one placing 6th, we worked hard for this so we wanted to be at least 5th and we did that and I’m so happy that we got the win,” said Jamaican shooter Vanessa Walker.

In the tightest affair so far the Fast5 World Series, it was South Africa’s inability to capitalise on their late chances, as well as Jamaica’s determination to drag themselves back into the game via a 20 point power play in the third quarter which made the difference.