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Bajan girls beat T&T

Sherrylyn A. Toppin

Bajan girls beat T&T

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Barbados came from 11 goals down to beat Trinidad and Tobago (60-59) for the first time in six years and to take seventh place in netball at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India yesterday morning.
In an all-round team effort, the Barbadians dug deep for a tremendous second-half performance which saw them tie the game, nose ahead and then hold off Trinidad who had been leading 33-26 at half-time.
Lydia Bishop had another solid game with 44 goals from 52 attempts, Nikita Piggott had ten from 12 and Laurel Browne seven from ten for part of the last quarter at goal attack.
“It was a good result,” head coach Alwyn Babb told NATIONSPORT yesterday.
“There were only the two African nations (Malawi and South Africa) ahead of us, and with some more training and commitment, we can overtake them.”
Barbados entered the tournament ranked 11th in the world, and despite heavy losses to New Zealand and England, they were able to defeat Cook Islands and Trinidad, who were ranked tenth and eighth, respectively.
It was an exciting game from the first whistle, but Barbados found themselves on the back foot early.
“We made a couple of errors which caused them to go ahead by as many as 11 goals early in the second quarter. By the end of the quarter, the game started to change in our favour and we started to pull back,” Babb said.
“I was a bit concerned, but it was not about Trinidad outplaying us. It was about the errors we were making because they never outplayed us.”
Barbados started to take control of the game in the third quarter and by the fourth, it appeared to be a ding-dong battle. Trinidad signalled a timeout to try and halt their momentum, and that worked in Barbados’ favour.
Babb had been biding his time to introduce taller players Faye Sealy (goalkeeper) and Browne at goal attack, and that coincided with the Trinidad timeout.
“That is when the game changed. With the height, Laurel was able to slip into the circle and provide an extra target with Lydia. Sabreena Smith with 21 assists, her passes into the circle were excellent. She was able to find the shooters and Faye with her long hands and movement was able to control the passes into the [Trinidad] shooter,” Babb explained.
Barbados drew level at 51, then went ahead 56-51. Trinidad called another timeout to halt their progress and in the ensuing period, were able to get to within two goals (59-57). Barbados scored (60-57), then stole Trinidad’s centre pass.
Bishop was called for contact and Trinidad converted, trailing by one goal. With the last centre pass, Barbados froze the ball and ran down the clock.
Anestacia Wilson scored 33 from 35 for Trinidad, Joelisa Cooper 20 from 24 and Janelle Barker six from seven.
It was also Barbados’ highest finish in the games since they began competing in 1998. Barbados finished down the line on that occasion, were ninth in 2002 and tenth in 2006.
Barbados last defeated Trinidad 58-54 at the 2004 Caribbean tournament with a team coached by Sonya Knight. Prior to that, Trinidad defeated them 47-46 in 1999; then 46-40 here in 2006; 49-36 in 2008 and 59-49 in July at the Americas tournament in St Lucia.
Summarised scores:
5th Place: Malawi 59 (Mwayi Kumwenda 37/38, Mary Waya 22/23). South Africa 47 (Anna Bootha 11/15, Sindisiwe Gumede 36/39). Half-time: 29-26
7th Place: Barbados 60 (Lydia Bishop 44/52, Nikita Piggott 10/12, Laurel Browne 6/7). Trinidad and Tobago 59 (Anestacia Wilson 33/35, Joelisa Cooper 20/24, Janelle Barker 6/7). Half-time: 26-33
9th Place: Samoa 68 (Shirin Chang 8/10, Barbara Faasavalu 3/5, Monica Fuimaono 15/19, Sepuita Langi 42/49). Cook Islands 43 (Noeline Davida 5/7, Curly George 8/10, Patricia Te Huna 17/22, Ngatokoroa Tuitupou 13/16). Half-time: 29-21
11th: Papua New Guinea 78 (Lua Rikis 44/47, Maleta Roberts 34/39). India 41 (Neha Bajaj 18/22, Harminder Kaur 1/1, Prachi Tehlan 22/28). Half-time: 41-20
Here, CENTRE COURT. Barbados’ netball coach Alwyn Babb (backing) talking with (clockwise) Kizzy Marville, Sabreena Smith, Lydia Bishop, Samantha Browne, Nikita Piggott,  Latonia Blackman and Lisa Puckerin at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.