GLASGOW – Barbados lost their first game of the World Youth Netball Championships today on an occasion that saw only Jamaica of the five regional teams on court, register a victory at the Emirates Stadium in Scotland.
Barbados, coming off three successive victories, had their stiffest competition today when they faced England and were hammered 71-22 in a one-sided game that determined the winners of their Group D.
But despite the obvious disparity in the scoreline, Barbados didn’t go down without a fight and had a few bright moments. They worked well in the defensive circle and snatched most of England’s missed shots, converting them into a few opportunities for themselves.
Yet it was as the ball was worked down the court where it fell apart for the Bajans. Inaccurate passing and misjudged balls allowed England to earn back possession. Barbados head coach Sandra Bruce-Small was disappointed in her girls’ display and even indicated she was hoping for a victory.
“I expected a much better fight from my girls. We were definitely hoping to win,” Bruce-Small said.
England went from strength to strength as the game progressed and really pressured the Bajans’ possession, resulting in three second calls that turned the ball back in England’s favour.
“We were expecting a really tough game,” Colette Thompson, England’s head coach, explained, “We know Barbados are a very talented side and we were looking to step up which I think we did today.”
Now both teams are through to the final eight, and this is where it really kicks off. Even after today’s defeat, Sandra Bruce- Small still expressed her team’s determination.
“This is no way near over. Now we’ve got to fight for the highest position we can get,” she told reporters after the game
After today’s performance England are looking on track to contest for those all important medals, but they face South Africa next in the quarterfinals – their biggest challenge yet.
In the most atmospheric and tense game of the tournament so far Jamaica emerged victorious after a highly competitive 60 minutes against the Welsh, winning 72-49.
The final and deciding match of Group C was explosive. Both teams went out all guns blazing from the first whistle and bodies clashed on court as the fight for the win ensued.
The first two quarters saw end to end action. Both Wales and Jamaica contested every ball going but it was Jamaica’s impeccable shooting that put them ahead- incredibly they scored 100 per cent of shots taken in the first half.
As the clock ticked, the physicality of the game increased and the vicious nature of the players swung into action. Adean Thomas took the full brunt of it and was the first casualty in the on court fight. But that didn’t deter the Jamaicans as they progressed full steam ahead into the last quarter, finishing the game with an impressive seven goal run.
“We’re feeling very elated. We expected Wales to come and give us a run but we managed to withstand it.” said Marvette Anderson, assistant coach of Jamaica.
After that win Jamaica earned the preferable route through to the semi-finals, avoiding giants New Zealand who now face Wales. Marvette feels her team have what it takes.
“Each game is as important as the last. We’re going to build on the positives and come ready to play.”
New Zealand sped out of the blocks and with quick and concise passing in the first half of the game, emerged the 77-16 victors over Trinidad and Tobago.
The win puts the Kiwis in a favourable position for the quarter finals, as they will face Wales later on, whilst Trinidad will face Jamaica, but coach Janine Southby said the side would focus on their own game as both Wales and Jamaica were “quality teams”.
The fast paced first quarter saw New Zealand at their best so far in Glasgow, and this was reflected in the score of 24 goals to 6, though Southby said the side was still improving.
“We’re still not where we really need to be, and we know that we’ve got more to give.”
Trinidad and Tobago made changes at quarter time including moving strong shooter Samantha Wallace down the court to goal-keep, where she was effective in defending goal. New Zealand were slowed slightly, and Wallace was particularly forceful in the third session against New Zealand’s shooters Malia Paseka and Brooke Leaver.
Grace Parkinson-Griffith said Wallace was part of a plan to quell New Zealand’s scorers.
“We were prepared to take our shooter out of attack, and put her into defence to limit their goals.”
New Zealand didn’t adapt well to the pressure and for 15 minutes only managed to add 13 points to their total.
Southby expressed confidence moving forward to the quarter-finals.
“We need to keep getting better at what we do really well and thats been the focus all the way,” she said.
Meanwhile Samoa ensure their 9th-16th place by beating the Cayman Islands 74-24.
First time entrants The Cayman Islands got off to a shaky start, and Samoa took advantage of the situation to gain an early lead of 14 goals to 7 by the first break.
The Cayman Islands worked the ball well down the court, securing it into the circle, but it was the shooters who let them down today. They couldn’t quite sink the shots, leaving the Samoan defence to pick up the rebounds. Samoa anticipated the passes well which resulted in excellent tips for the team as they continued to steam ahead.
“We were expecting a very tough game – this is the team that beat Scotland and Scotland beat us,” explained Cayman Islands head coach Gillian Lee.
Questioned about their remaining fixtures she said, “It’ll be totally different opposition. It’ll be a matter of us keeping our heads about us and our standard high against some hopefully weaker opposition.”
For Samoa it will be all about beating their previous finish in 2009 of 11th.
Northern Ireland executed their second win of the tournament with an assertive 62-32 win over Bermuda.
It was a good start from the Northern Ireland shooters, netting a 91 per cent accuracy in the first quarter. Danielle Oniya for Bermuda also had a great opening 15 minutes, but received half the amount of chances due to Ireland’s strong mid court defending of the through ball. Ireland were certainly on the front foot.
However Bermuda weren’t to give up that easily. A fresh set of legs in the form of Akeyla Furbet donned the wing-attack bib for the Bermudans, and it made the difference – Bermuda now only trailing by 11 goals and still within reach of a win.
Yet Bermuda couldn’t put the pieces together to find that winning performance. Northern Ireland stormed the last quarter and put the final nail in the coffin, winning it 18-3.
“I was very pleased with my girls performance; they kept to our strategies and made it difficult for Bermuda” said a happy Northern Ireland head coach, Jacqueline Portis.