Bajans lift off
As expected, Barbados took care of Malaysia 62-40 to open the 13th World Netball Championships in Singapore with a victory yesterday morning.
After a slow start (15-11), Barbados built on a solid second-quarter performance where they outscored Malaysia 21-8 to take a decisive lead in the match.
Laurel Browne played the full match and made the most of her start at shooter, with 25 from 28 attempts before she went to goal attack in the second half.
Nikita Piggott, who started at goal attack, had 16 from 20, and Lydia Bishop, the second-half goal shooter, missed only one of her 22 attempts.
The Malaysian team is a young one, with seven players eligible for the Youth Netball Championships in Scotland in 2013, and goal attack Izyan Wazit ensured her team was not blown out with 23 from 32.
“We were aiming for 70-plus goals, but some third-quarter changes cost us the target,” coach Alwyn Babb told NATIONSPORT in a telephone interview yesterday.
Those changes included Damisha Croney at centre and Sabreena Smith in at wing attack.
“We had 70 attempts, so the shooters responded really well.
It was a good warm-up after being here for some time. We will now look towards the England and Malawi games,” said the coach.
Babb used all of his players except Faye Sealy, even playing versatile defender/shooter Latonia Blackman at wing attack for the first half before switching her to goal defence for the final quarter.
Shonette Bruce played all four quarters at goalkeeper and was strong on the rebounding end.
“That was the intention.
The competition is not a long one, so when the opportunity presented itself, we wanted to give everyone some time on court,” Babb said.
He explained that Blackman, who also played centre in the warm-up series against Trinidad and Tobago, brought some height to the centre court.
“Our mid-court players are short compared to many teams. Having Latonia at wing attack added some height and she was able to challenge the other team.
“We are hoping that those players who are a little shorter use their speed to meet the ball and cut out the cross court or overhead pass which can be easily intercepted by the players who are 6ft and more.”
Of the warm-up match against New Zealand, Babb said it was used to good effect to prepare them for any team which uses that style of play.
Should Barbados beat Malawi in tomorrow’s match, the play-offs will put them against Australia.
“England and Australia play a similar game and we took the opportunity to test out skills and reinforce our court work against the opposition to see what to do against the stifling defence which New Zealand plays,” Babb said.
Barbados will play world No.3 England this morning at 8 a.m. England beat Malawi 65-33 in the other Pool D match.
Meanwhile, Trinidad and Tobago had to come from behind to beat Wales 51-48, while world No.4 Jamaica made light work of South Africa, winning 72-45.
Barbados 62 (Laurel Browne 25/28, Nikita Piggott 16/20, Lydia Bishop 21/22). Malaysia 40 (Aruna Santhappan 5/15, Izyan Wazit 23/32, Norashikin Zaman 12/14). Quarter scores: 15-11, 36-19, 45-34.
Northern Ireland 65 (Noleen Lennon 50/61, Oonagh McCullough 12/15, Caroline O’Hanlon 3/7). Sri Lanka 56 (Tharjini Sivalingam 54/55, Sashika Samarasinghe 2/3). Quarter scores: 17-12, 25-22, 32-30
England 65 (Jo Harten 22/24, Pamela Cookey 17/20, Louisa Brownfield 21/24, Rachel Dunn 5/6). Malawi 33 (Mwayi Kumwenda 26/29, Sindi Simtowe 7/11, Ellen Chiboko 0/0). Quarter scores: 22-10, 36-17, 49-25.
Trinidad and Tobago 51 (Anastascia Wilson 9/11, Janelle Barker 36/40, Joelisa Cooper 6/6). Wales 48. Quarter scores: 12-13, 26-25, 38-34.
New Zealand 80 (Irene van Dyk 25/26, Maria Tutaia 7/8, Paula Griffith 24/29, Anna Thompson 24/28). Fiji 25 (Afa Rusivakula 11/21, Seruwaia Vonolagi 13/18, Maria Lutua 1/1). Quarter scores: 20-8, 36-17, 57-19.
Australia 81 (Catherine Cox 23/27, Natalie Medhurst 21/25, Erin Belle 6/8, Caitlin Bassett 31/31). Samoa 23 (Sepiuta Langi 8/15, Barbara Faasavalu 15/27). Quarter scores: 23-8, 38-16, 59-20.
Jamaica 72 (Romelda Aiken 40/49, Anna-Kay Griffiths 11/15, Jhaniele Fowler 21/24). South Africa 45 (Christina Bootha 16/22, Maryka Holtzhausen 6/11, Claudia Basson 23/26). Quarter scores: 15-11, 34-20, 50-33.
Botswana 43, Singapore 36.
Quarter scores: 12-10, 23-16, 33-25. No individual scores available.