Barbados unbeaten streak continued at the 16th edition of the Caribbean Netball Association Jean Pierre Tournament when they trounced Trinidad and Tobago 31-12 at the Netball Stadium last night.
The Bajan Gems built early momentum to command the first three quarters 9-3, 15-6 and 22-9 with goal-shooter Tower Lorde netting 22 goals from 30 attempts. Lorde in the four respective quarters scored eight, three, four and seven goals and she was well supported by goal-attack Brianna Holder who had nine from 14 attempts and with quarter scores of one, three, three and two goals. As expected Kadeemah Herbert top scored with eight goals from 13 attempts for the twin-island republic and goal-shooter Delecia Chelsea contributed four.
Noticeably in the starting seven for the home side in last night’s game was wing-defence Stephian Shepherd, a very versatile player who can play all positions on court. She played well up until the third quarter but was then substituted in the fourth period for Rhenea Gaskin. Quantya Rudder, the daughter of Renee Rudder and grand-daughter of Marceline Cyrus who both play netball for Spooners Hill, also started last night and looked good in her position as wing-attack.
Coach of the Barbados team Julie Phillips has made a few changes that have so far work in Barbados’ favour and have allowed the defending champions to win all four of their encounters along with Jamaica who have also played undefeated. Their match-up is being eagerly awaited.
One of Barbados top shooters, Holder has made a difference since switching from wing-attack to goal-attack which she took over from Rashana Thorne. Speaking with Barbados TODAY she said: “I feel excited for myself moving from wing-attack to goal-attack that I normally play but my throws weren’t on in practice and in these matches I am surprise it is on,” Holder explained, while noting that for her it did not matter what position she played and even if the coach moved her back to wing-attack she would be comfortable because she has confidence in Thorne the initial goal-attack.
While Barbados were playing Trinidad and Tobago, the Jamaicans were locked in battle with St Lucia and the crowd were no doubt rooting for a St Lucian victory. But the Sunshine girls denied them any bragging rights in that match-up that ended in a one point nail- biting finish. Jamaica led 6-4, 12-10 up to half time but St Lucia came from behind to tie the scores 16-16 and the Jamaicans had to pull out all the stops with exceptional passing to take the game away 25-24 in what was a dramatic encounter, with the main highlight being the coach of the Jamaica team being asked to leave the court and go into the stands.
Earlier during the day Jamaica won the team shooting competition with 115 goals from 163 attempts, followed by Dominica 112 from 170, Trinidad and Tobago 105 off 170, Grenada fourth on 101 and Barbados represented by Holder, Thorne and Shepherd netted 100 goals to finish fifth.
In the other games played Dominica outplayed Antigua and Barbuda (14-3, 23-8, 28-12) 36-14. Goal-shooter Celena Langlaise led the way with 24 goals from her 34 attempts and goal-attack Kayla Telemaque had 12 from 17 for the Dominicans. Antigua goal-attack Kahtalia Valentine was the only player to reach double figures with 11, goal-shooter Rayana Regis had two goals and the other goal-attack Keesha Thomas netted one.
Grenada were also victorious over Bermuda (6-8, 17-11, 26-14) 34-19, thanks to Carlene Alexander’s 31 goals from 38 attempts and goal-attack Holly-Ann Charles accounted for three. Donnauri Robinson top scored with 16 for Bermuda. Goal-attack Zekiah Lewis netted three goals.