Rangers, Blackbirds winnersRangers’ goalkeeper Rhe-Ann Niles (right) keeping the ball away from NCC Ballers goal shooter Lydia Bishop. (Picture by Kenmore Bynoe.)
Mon, May 07, 2012 - 12:03 AM
Knockout queens C.O. Williams Rangers and UWI Blackbirds continued their bids to capture the respective Division 1 and 2 league titles when the Barbados Netball Association’s competitions continued at the Netball Stadium on Saturday night.
In two robust games that were played simultaneously on side-by-side courts, Rangers kept up their unbeaten run to defeat the defending champions NCC Ballers 60-48, while the Blackbirds continued their trek towards Division 1 by winning the key second division battle with Pine Hill St Barnabas 44-42.
None of the four teams seemed capable of taking a big advantage in the early exchanges, with the toughness of the contests resulting in many players being floored and needing the attention of the medics because of the mid-court collisions.
The night of high-class netball, however, was spoilt at the end of the match by the ill-mannered conduct of some of the players, officials and supporters of NCC Ballers.
Earlier, Nikita Piggott at goal attack, was almost perfect in scoring 27 of 30 attempts, while Olivia Walcott at goal shoot was even better in making 33 of 34. The Rangers trailed 11-12 at the end of the first quarter before leading at the end of the next two quarters, 30-25, 42-39 before winning 60-48.
Former Barbados player Lydia Bishop scored 33 of 39 attempts at goal shoot while goal attack Renee Rudder added 15 of 20 for the Ballers.
The Blackbirds/St Barnabas game swung back and forth after UWI held a 12-5 lead at the end of the first quarter. The score line at the end of the next two quarters read 24-20 and 33-34, with St Barnabas’ mid-court denying the tough Monique James the ball in the D to slow UWI’s scoring.
Even so, the Blackbirds were able to squeeze out the victory, with James sinking 28 of 37 attempts and goal attacker Michelle Liburd contributing 16 of 26.
For St Barnabas, veteran Marvalene Neblett at goal attack scored 18 of 23, while Cassandra Cutting hit 22 from 27 after replacing Latricia Busby (2/4) at goal shoot. (KB)
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