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Calypso Netballers sweep Tri-nation series
Goal-shooter Afeisha Noel was near perfect as host T&T cooled off neighbours Barbados 35-32 to top the tri-nation series which also involved Northern Ireland with a 2-0 record at the Eastern Regional Indoor Sports Arena, Tacarigua on Saturday night.
Both teams entered the match in different moods, with the world tenth-ranked “Calypso Netballers” on a high following a 51-39 spanking of 11th-ranked Northern Ireland on Thursday, while the world ninth-ranked Bajans were on a low after a 35-44 loss to the Britons on Friday.
At the end of the first quarter, Barbados held a slim 9-8 lead.
But from then on, T&T led by Anika La Roche-Bryce stepped up its aggression and with Noel and youthful goal-attack, Kalifa Mc Collin and goal-shoot Joelisa Cooper orchestrating its offence, took charge.
Noel converted on 15 of her 18 attempts for the hosts who turned the scores around and outscored Barbados, 11-8 for a 19-17 lead at the half-way stage.
Mc Collin, who started the third period on the bench, ended with eight goals from 11 attempts while T&T’s second goal-attack, Cooper, used mainly for the second-half tallied nine from 13 attempts, and veteran Janelle Barker, three of four, all in the final period.
The Barbadians, who entered the tournament as the highest ranked team, ended winless.
Goal-shooter Shonia Watson had the hot hand on the night with 25 goals from 34 attempts to single-handily keep her team in the contest.
Goal-attack, Nikita Piggott chipped in with six from nine, and Shenique Thomas, two from eight, while Laurel Browne, who scored all 13 of her attempts versus Northern Ireland, was kept scoreless from three attempts.
The tournament was preparation for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland later this year.
T&T will compete in a tough six-team Pool B against world champions Australia, England, South Africa, Wales and neighbours Barbados; while New Zealand, Jamaica, Malawi, Scotland, Northern Ireland and St Lucia will compete in Pool A.
T&T 35 (Afeisha Noel 15/18, Joelisa Cooper 9/13, Kalifa Mc Collin 8/11, Janelle Barker) vs Barbados 33 (Shonia Wharton 25/34, Nikita Piggot 6/9, Shenique Thomas 2/8).
Quarter scores: 1st: 9-8 Barbados; 2nd: 19-17 T&T; 3rd: 28-25 T&T; 4th: 35-33 T&T