One month ago, mother of two and businesswoman, Ria Sookdeo, kissed her children goodbye as she dropped them off at school.
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‘Calypso Girls’ top Afna qualifiers
This country’s “Calypso Girls” outclassed regional rival Barbados 53-46 to top the seven-team 14th edition of the International Netball Federation (INF) Americas Regional Qualifying. Tournament to the INF Netball World Cup at SAIT Polytechnic, Alberta, Canada on Monday night. Going into the final match of the tournament, both T&T, ranked tenth in the world and the Barbadians, one spot higher, were locked at the top of the standings with 5-0 records, and were already assured of qualification to next year’s INF World Cup in Sydney, Australia as the top teams on the table.
However, from early on, the Wesley “Pepe” Gomes-coached T&T women took command against the Barbadians and led 16-10 at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter saw T&T going off the pace a bit with Barbados trimming the lead to 27-23. However the third period saw the “Calypso Girls” outscoring their rivals 12-11 to hold a 39-34 edge heading into the final period where they held their composure and scored 14 goals to Barbados’ 12 for the 53-46 triumph to end with maximum 12 points, two more than their opponents.
It is the second time T&T has won the tournament in four years after they were declared champions in 2010 before ending third in 2012 on home soil behind Jamaica and Barbados. Back then T&T was beaten by evnetual champions Jamaica (40-60) and runner-up Barbados (48-59) in their head-to-head meetings. However, prior to Monday’s encounter with Barbados, T&T had won its last two duels, 35-33 in a Tri-Nation encounter on home soil in February and 38-37 at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
In Monday’s two other matches, USA took third spot with a narrow 42-40 win over neighbours Canada while Grenada ended fifth, after a 70-39 blowout of winless Argentina. The other teams who have already qualified for the World Cup to date are ten-time champions and reigning holders Australia, New Zealand and England—the top three teams in the world—along with Jamaica, South Africa, Wales, Scotland, Fiji and Samoa.
2014 Afna Championship Results & Standings
USA 42 vs Canada 40
Quarter scores: 1st. 13-11 USA; 2nd. 25-17 USA; 3rd. 33-33
Grenada 70 vs Argentina 39
Quarter scores: 1st. 18-11 Grenada; 2nd. 33-20 Grenada; 3rd. 56-28 Grenada
T&T 53 vs Barbados 46
Quarter scores: 1st. 16-10 T&T; 2nd. 27-23 T&T; 3rd. 39-34 T&T
Teams P W D L F A Pts
T&T 6 6 0 0 446 172 12
Barbados 6 5 0 1 417 159 10
USA 6 4 0 2 290 228 8
Canada 6 3 0 3 302 240 6
Grenada 6 2 0 4 238 350 4
Cay Islands 6 1 0 5 165 338 2
Argentina 6 0 0 6 113 485 0