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St Barnabas advance, Spooners Hill boycott


KENMORE BYNOE

St Barnabas  advance, Spooners Hill boycott

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Pine Hill St Barnabas advanced predictably to the Barbados Netball Association’s league final with an easy victory over Guardian General Pride of Villa on Saturday night.
However, the story of the night was defending champions C.O. Williams Rangers’ stroll into the final as Spooners Hill boycotted the semi-finals which denied the large crowd the opportunity to witness what was expected to be a clash.
None of the Spooners Hill players showed up at the Netball Stadium and at game time the management trio – coaches Alwyn Babb and Cameron Greenidge and manager Alicia Jemmott – were next door at the National Stadium taking in the national track and field championships.  
Last week, Babb was suspension from netball to take effect from today while Jemmott was cleared of any charges evolving from a first-round game involving Rangers.
Babb, who is one of the island’s premier athletics coaches, had not attended the disciplinary hearing on June 6, saying that he was focusing on his athletics and he was not about wasting time on petty matters.  
On Saturday night, Babb said Spooners Hill had sent a letter to the president of the netball association, Nisha Cummings, citing the unavailability of enough players to field a team worthy of a playoff match.
Former national team sharpshooter Lydia Bishop seemed to be one of those unavailable players as the in-form goal shooter announced her retirement from the sport on her Facebook page.  
Bishop indicated that she would not be playing netball in Barbados again and thanked her fans for their support over the years
Cummings said that up to game time she had not seen any letter from Spooners Hill but later in the night she said that the letter had been sent after 7 p.m. on Friday.  
League organizer Sonia Banfield said if Spooners Hill had stated their intentions earlier then provision would have been made to elevate the fifth-placed UWI Blackbirds to ensure that the fans got to watch two play-off matches.
St Barnabas advanced to their fourth clash with Rangers by stopping Villa 49-36, with six-footer Laurel Browne netting 34 of 38 and Sheniqua Thomas scoring 15 of 25.  
Villa’s Faye Sealy reverted to the goal keeper position to link with goal defence Latonia Blackman to neutralize Browne.
That ploy worked in the first quarter only with Villa leading 12-10. St Barnabas then introduced their “secret weapon” Julie Phillips in the mid-court which saw the knockout queens scoring six unanswered points to take charge 24-17 and 36-27.
Philicia Holder scored 23 goals from 29 attempts for Villa with Nadia Blackman adding 13 from 23 shots.  
The final is slated for Saturday at the Netball Stadium.

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