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Morgan, Noel inspire Fire to netball title win
National duo Afeisha Noel and Simone Morgan came to life in the second half as Fire Services blazed Police 49-27 to clinch the Courts All Sectors Netball League Premiership Division title on goal-difference from Games Changers at the Eastern Regional Indoor Sports Arena, Tacarigua, on Tuesday night.
Going into the match, its final one in the four-team round-robin series, Fire, with eight points, trailed Game Changers (ten points), who also had a superior goal-difference of plus-78 to its rival plus-59.
This meant Fire Service needed to defeat Police by 20 clear goals, a task which seemed very daunting, despite its 50-34 first round win.
And from the onset it looked as though the Firewomen had given up without even making an effort as they started the match with a bare seven players while Police was without influential centre-court player Rhonda John-Davis.
Despite their player shortage, Fire still led at the end of the first quarter 13-6 and by the end of the first-half had extended its lead to 23-14, mainly slowed by the offensive efforts of former teammate Joelisa Cooper, who was leading the fight back for the Law-women.
However, at the start of the second half, following a pep-talk by coach Joel Young-Strong, Fire ignited by the defensive efforts of Onella Jack and Gabrielle Selman as well as clever centre-court play from Ashelle Legall took command and widened its lead to 38-18 as Noel and Morgan became more aggressive as well.
In the final period, Cooper tried her best to cut into Fire’s lead, but each time she did, Morgan and Noel responded for Fire, which managed to score five of the final seven goals to cement the required margin of victory by more than 20 goals and with it, the Premiership title.
In the end, Fire topped the table with ten points and a plus-81 goal-difference, just ahead of Game Changers which also tallied 10 points, but with a goal aggregate of plus-78, making its the closest finish for the title in recent years.
Goal-shooter Noel ended with 33 goals from 39 attempts while Morgan added 16 from 29 for the winners.
For Police, Cooper converted 23 of 31.
In the night’s first match, Fire was also crowned champions of the Championship Division without even taking the court.
This after Police X failed in its bid to defeat Jabloteh by 72 goals, and could only muster a 44-27 win.
For Police X, Patrice Goring scored 29 of her 32 attempts and Beverly Hernandez got 14 from 32 while Latoya Thomas led Jabloteh with 13 from 19.
Fire topped the five-team table with 14 points after ending its campaign with a 7-1 record along with a healthy goal-difference of plus-119 while Police X also finished with 14 points and a goal-difference of plus-65.
Police X 44 (Patrice Goring 29/32, Beverly Hernandez 14/32, Lystra Solomon 1/3) vs Jabloteh 27 (Latoya Thomas 13/19, Samantha James 6/11, Giselle Hobson 5/15, Nicole Hospedales 3/9)
Quarter scorers: 1st: 8-7 Jabloteh; 2nd: 18-16 Police X; 3rd: 30-22 Police X.
Fire Service 49 (Afeisha Noel 33/39, Simone Morgan 16/29) vs Police 27 (Joelisa Cooper 23/31, Jenice Mc Intosh 2/4, Shivaughn Skeete 2/5)
Quarter scores: 1st: 13-6 Fire Service; 2nd: 23-14 Fire Service; 3rd: 38-18 Fire Service
Team P W L D GF GA Pts
Fire Service 6 5 0 1 270 189 10
Game Changers 6 5 0 1 255 177 10
Police 5 1 0 4 180 184 2
UWI 5 0 0 5 94 249 0
Fire 8 7 0 1 363 244 14
Police X 8 7 0 1 358 293 14
Bermuda 8 4 0 4 307 316 8
Jabloteh 8 2 0 6 260 313 4
Police Y 8 0 0 8 245 369 0