T&T netballers did not panic after learning that they would be without two of their main shooters, Joelisa Cooper and Janelle Barker, for their third match of the Americas Federation of Netball Associations (AFNA) Championships. Instead their replacements got into the job at hand and entertained the 200 plus fans at the Jean Pierre Complex in Mucurapo on Monday night by whipping Bermuda, 95-18 in the final match on the night. Earlier, Jamaica crushed Guyana, 124-8, St Lucia topped USA, 47-36, and the Barbadians beat Canada, 60-29. Due to minor injuries to Cooper and Barker, they both sat out the match. “Today (Monday) we had our senior shooter Janelle and Joelisa on the bench. They are just resting because they had slight injuries. They will be ready for the other games,” said assistant coach Althea McCollin.
In their absence, youngster Jellene Richardson, a former junior national captain, began as the goal-attack and did not disappoint, combining with goal-shooter Anastascia Wilson, who remained at her best, notching a match-high 59 goals from 64 tries before leaving the match by the third stanza. By then, the “Calypso Girls” had already garnered a 58-goal lead (72-13) after controlling the first half—21-6 in the first and 47-11 at the midway mark. Richardson, at that point, had already scored 13 off 15 and when she was moved to the goal-shoot position she was flawless, netting all of her 19 attempts, to tally 32 from 34 for an overall shooting accuracy of 94 per cent.
Centre-court player Rhonda John-Davis joined Richardson in the circle and held her own, showing why she is referred to as a utility player, able to play any position. She scored four from as many attempts. “We had to use our wing-attack Rhonda to step up in the shooting position and she did well,” added McCollin. She feels T&T is in a good position to defend its AFNA title, it won back in 2010 in St Lucia but advises that her team just needs to fine-tune some minor details, to ensure that they are peaking at the right time. “Each game we are seeing improvement. We still have to work on some aggression. They need to keep possession and they need to focus more on team defence,” stated McCollin. Today, the local team will return to the court, to meet St Lucia, looking ahead to face USA (tomorrow), Barbados (Friday) and the “Sunshine Girls” of Jamaica (Saturday), respectively in the coming days.
T&T 95 (Anastascia Wilson 59/64, Jellene Richardson 32/34, Rhonda John-Davis 4/4) vs Bermuda 18 (Danielle Raynor 12/14, Marissa Wainwright 3/4, Kimale Evans 3/3). Quarter scores: 21-6, 47-11, 72-13 (T&T).
Jamaica 124 (Jhaneile Fowler 30/31, Anna Kay Griffiths 7/8, Shantal Slater 71/75, Vanessa walker 16/19) vs Guyana 8 (Angeline McCarthy 8/12). Quarter scores: 33-4, 63-6, 94-7 (Jamaica).
Canada 29 (Cherry Nickie 20/27, Sabrina Versteeg 5/12, Kelsy Binns 4/7) vs Barbados 60 (Laurel Browne 39/42, Nikita Piggott 21/22). Quarter scores: 13-8, 26-17, 43-23 (Barbados).
St Lucia 47 (Indira Laurecin 29/31, Shem Maxwell 18/24) vs USA 36 (Swasha Shaw 18/20, Roniesh Davis-Francis 3/5, Camille Henry 15/19). Quarter scores: 11-10, 25-17, 40-26 (St Lucia)
USA vs Bermuda, 5.30 pm
Barbados vs Guyana, 5.45 pm
Court 3: Grenada vs T&T, 6 pm
Canada vs Jamaica, 6.30 pm
Bye: St Lucia
St Lucia vs Bermuda, 9 am
Court 1: USA vs Guyana, 5.30 pm
Grenada vs Barbados, 5.45 pm
Bermuda vs Canada, 6 pm
Court 1: T&T vs St Lucia, 6.30 pm