The Bajan Gems are one game away from lifting the Caribbean Netball Association’s Jean Pierre Under-16 title for a second consecutive year. And that game was slated for tonight against perennial powerhouses Jamaica at the Netball Stadium.
Last night at the Netball Stadium, Barbados were ruthless in disposing of St Lucia 35-13 after leading at the quarters, 9-5, 19-9 and 27-12 and taking their points tally to 30 after playing six games unbeaten. The Jamaicans are on an equal number of points.
Tower Lorde continued to display great shooting accuracy while netting 27 goals from 31 attempts. She scored six, nine, five and seven goals over the four quarters. Goal-attack Brianna Holder had seven goals from 14 attempts and Rashana Thorne had one goal. St Lucia’s shooters failed to reach double figures with the highest score being five from goal-shooter Merkissa Theodule and goal-attack Megan Nestor respectively. Kiana Nelson also played goal-attack but registered just two goals.
Barbados had a few injuries in the game starting with Holder who fell during the first quarter and seemed to have hurt her wrist. That is where Thorne came in to play but Holder was back on court shortly after to resume her position. Then in the second quarter wing-attack Quantya Rudder also picked up an injury on court and was replaced by Dayna Babb in the second and third period and Japhia Lucas moved from center to wing-attack in the fourth while Stephian Shepherd took over from Lucas.
Denise Alleyne, assistant coach of the Barbados team, said there was no cause for concern at this stage going into tonight’s final encounter against the Jamaicans who so far have 234 goals for and 79 against with a goal average of 2.96 while Barbados have 215 goals for and 84 against at an average of 2.56.
“There are no reasons for concern. The rule states that if you are injured automatically you are to be replaced within a thirty second period that is why the substitutions were made. Our team is a very versatile team and no one person plays the same position. So it was a matter to try different combinations where the changes were concerned and in a game like this where we were comfortable we will try different combinations to see what are our options so that when we come up against Jamaica we don’t have to say something to the person,” Alleyne said, while noting that they were confident about winning but expected St Lucia to score more goals. St Lucia had lost their earlier game to Jamaica by one goal.
Dominica are tied in third position on 17 points with St Lucia. Last night the Dominicans defeated Grenada 32-21 with quarter scores of 9-7, 16-10, 23-16. Goal-shooter Celena Langlaise had 26 goals from 37 attempts and goal-attack Kayla Telemaque netted six goals. Grenada goal-shooter Carlene Alexander accounted for all 21 goals for her country.