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Under-16 netballers on right track

Barry Alleyne

Under-16 netballers on right track

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When it comes to the Barbados Under-16 netball team, coach Julie Phillips’ motto is slow but surely.
After all, she does have a few more months to get her charges on the right track.
The young squad had a good weekend on the court at the Netball Stadium, when they defeated a touring Croydon team from England, in two organized warm-up matches.
The squad started with 50 players in August, and has now been reduced to 21, which was split into two teams for last weekend’s matches.
The Under-16  ‘A’ team had little problems with their English opponents, easily winning 33-7.
Goal-shoot Shaquilla Davis was in top form, scoring 18 of her 19 attempts, whilst goal-attacks Sheniqua Thomas added six of nine, and Shonica Wharton nine of 15.
For Croydon Tanya Hill scored half of her ten attempts, and Jemma Upton added two of seven.
The Under-16 ‘B’ squad were just as impressive, defeating Croydon ‘B’ 34-8. Rakeisha Joseph scored 26 of 30, and goal-attack Victoria McMillan went eight  of 14. For the visitors, goal-attack Abi Daley scored five from 11, and Maddie Jones went three from eight.
In each of the two games, Barbados led after every quarter.
“We have been doing a lot of prep work, and I like what I’m seeing so far, but obviously, we have a lot of work ahead us,” Phillips told NATIONSPORT yesterday.
“These warm-up games were very necessary, since we had not played competitive matches since August. I have seen a lot of improvement in many areas since we last played,” the head coach added.
According to Phillips, her team is a short one, so she has had to focus primarily on accuracy, especially in mid-court passing, and shooting in the circle.
“We have to work with what we have, and our level of accuracy will determine our success,”  Phillips concluded.
The Under-16 team is preparing for next year’s Easter tournament in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Also on show last weekend was the national Under-21 squad, who defeated another British touring side, Wells, 40-24.
The Under-21 squad is using the matches as preparation for the World Netball Youth Championships in Scotland, scheduled for 2013.
In an earlier warm-up, the Under-16s also beat Wells ‘B’ 29-10, leading through all quarters. Barbados goal-shoot Zakiya Kirton  wasn’t very accurate, but still scored 24 of 47 attempts. Her shooting partner Shakeila Smith went 5 for ten.