Only Trinis left to beat
Trinidad and Tobago are about all that stand between Barbados and a return to junior netball supremacy.
As if fate would have it any other way.
The Barbadians enter today’s final group game against their arch rivals at the Pam Tyson Complex, St Kitts, with their eyes on securing the Caribbean Netball Association Jean Pierre Under-16 title after vaulting to the top of the five-team table.
Barbados’ position came as a result of three successive second-round victories, the biggest of which was a tense 33-31 triumph over the previously unbeaten St Lucia yesterday.
That result left both teams tied with an identical 6-1 record but Barbados currently have a superior goal average (1.88 to 1.56) ahead of today’s final matches.
It was a much needed win for the ultramarine and gold, who dropped their first-round encounter 24-27 on Monday. But Barbados never trailed in this one, sandwiching that win with a 46-9 thrashing of Dominica last night before Wednesday evening’s 37-15 rout of St Vincent.
“This is one of the few times the girls stuck to the game plan,” said head coach Julie Phillips of the important win over St Lucia.
“Even though we panicked in the homestretch, I saw a lot more discipline.”
Barbados started slowly in that one, holding a mere 9-7 first-quarter lead before narrowly extending that advantage to 18-15 after two quarters.
But goal-shoot Shonica Wharton and company took control in the ensuing third, as Barbados led by as many as seven goals (26-19) at the end of the third and early in the fourth.
Wharton finished 28 from 33 while Sheniqua Thomas added five from nine attempts in Barbados’ wire-to-wire victory. Ianna Hippolyte led St Lucia with 20 of 27 and Jo-Ann Anderson was 11 from 17.