No stopping Pride of Villa
Guardian Group Pride Of Villa remained on course for the netball Division 1 play-offs by stopping newly promoted Wolverine 47-29 when the action continued on Friday night at the Netball Stadium.
With annoying showers bringing a chill to the night, neither team generated much heat as Villa took an early lead and kept it as the Wolverines never looked like adding to their lone win over former queens C.O. Williams Rangers. Villa led 11-8, 27-14, 37-22.
With the flashy Sabreena Smith out injured and Villa missing the hurt Nadia Blackman and the tough Kamillah Burke who was ill, the Wolverines, who naturally relish consuming dead prey may have fancied another win.
Superior court craft
Once again Barbados’ most capped player Latonia Blackman showed her superior speed and court craft to sink an impressive 21 goals from 22 attempts.
Then, displaying her versatility, Blackman moved to the defence circle in the second half to join young improving Chante Moore in denying Wolverines any hopes of a comeback.
Faye Agard, who had started at goalkeeper with Moore assumed the goal shooter role to sink 15 of 21. The glamourous Shakeena Rock scored 11 of 18 with some late game gems after initially playing a support role to the other shooters.
Sadly, Wolverines’ captain Tricia Briggs struggled with her shooting as has occurred all season.
Missed easy shots
Ironically, Briggs missed easy shots but sank some long distance missiles to contribute ten of 20. Key scorer Carla Boyce had carried her team with 19 of 24 but employing her usual disappearing act after looking dangerous in spots caused Wolverines to slide out of contention.
Wolverines had taken the early lead, holding Villa to a 6-3 deficit with the high jumping duo of Stacy Athlerley and Shamera Warner protecting their ring with great energy.
But with wing defence Shelly Blackett along with Alicia Brathwaite and Delicia Murrell outplaying Wolverines in mid-court, Villa moved from 3-6 to 8-6 before Wolverines scored again.
Blackman gave a tutorial in shifting defenders and scoring in the second quarter as her team outscored Wolverines 16-6, motoring from 14-12 to 20-12. Even Rock going off after receiving a blow to her mouth did not slow Villa with the short player returning to play even better.
Villa have one remaining fixtured game against Rangers to determine their playoff fate. Tomorrow night Spooners Hill Firebirds will battle Rangers in a bid to make the playoffs in a three team battle with Pine Hill St Barnabas. (KB)