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Netballers just short

Sherrylyn A. Toppin

Netballers just short

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Barbados fought hard to the end, but a heart-breaking 31-30 defeat to Trinidad and Tobago in the final game left them in second place at the 2011 Caribbean Netball Association Jean Pierre Competition last night in St Kitts.
St Lucia, who finished with a 7-1 record and 36 points, were crowned champions last night.
Trinidad and Tobago (5-3) were third, followed by St Vincent and the Grenadines and winless Dominica. 
In the feature match at the Pam Tyson Complex, Barbados started slowly and trailed 3-8. They came from ten goals down (10-17) at half-time and pulled to within four (19-23) at the end of the third quarter.
No individual shooting statistics were available up to press time.
Barbados outscored Trinidad and Tobago 11-8 in the final quarter, but came up just short.Head coach Julie Phillips told the SATURDAY SUN some of the players were inconsolable last night, especially Shanice Wharton and Tyneisha Rowe, both of whom are in their final tour at this age group.
“We started a bit tentatively, but Trinidad started from ball one. Jameela [McCarthy, the Trinidadian shooter], also came to play today [last night],” she said.
Unfortunately, Barbados’ own Shonica Wharton wasn’t as settled. She had been enjoying a very good tournament, but in the final game was substituted at the end of the first quarter by Vanessa Reid-Cox and saw no further action.
“We made some crucial mistakes. The shooter wasn’t settled, missed easy shots and wasn’t holding position.”
Tyneisha Rowe, who had been suffering with cramps throughout the tournament, was hit with another bout and she was taken out in the second quarter before she returned. Phillips praised Rowe whom she said “fought to the end. She fought a valiant fight”.
As the game progressed, Barbadian spirits started to flag.
“Because of how the game was going, the girls looked dejected. We had to keep motivating them, telling them they had done nothing wrong and just play – forget the stands, the umpires and just play.”
A further switch in the defence saw Shanice Wharton coming out to goal defence and Sadé Sargeant in to keeper.
Barbados started to narrow the deficit, but it was just too much to do. 
“Overall, the girls played really well and fought to the end. We couldn’t have asked them for anymore,” Phillips said.
Barbados were champions in 2005, the last time the tournament was played in St Kitts. They have placed in spot second for the past three years.
Earlier last night, St Lucia hammered Dominica 51-7 to move to a 7-1 record and a 1.84 goal average, placing all of the pressure on Barbados to work for the win. Barbados also won the team shooting competition which was held on Wednesday, had three of the top five individual shooters and the highest team accuracy of 70.97 per cent.
Based on the number of goals scored, Barbados led all teams with 44 from 62 attempts.
Trinidad and Tobago had 40 from 65 and Guyana 38 from 59. Trinidad’s Kalifa McCollin was the individual champion with 54 from 70, Shanice Wharton was second with 52 from 70 and Shonica Wharton third with 52 from 65. Goal attack Sheniqua Thomas was fifth overall with 44 from 62.
The team is due home today at 11:05 a.m.