January 28, 2005
SVG to host netball tourney

Netball of an international flavour comes to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, next week when this country hosts the Americas Federation of Netball Association (AFNA) qualifying tournament from January 30 to February 1, at the Kingstown Netball Centre.{{more}}

From this tournament, St.Vincent and the Grenadines hopes to grab the lone qualifying spot from the AFNA grouping to the Commonwealth Games slated for Australia next year.

The host begins their quest for qualification, on opening day , Sunday, against Trinidad and Tobago. Both teams have a score to settle as they ended in an exciting tie last year in Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean Netball Association (CNA) Tournament.

This opening fixture is set to begin at 5:15 p.m, following the opening ceremony which starts at 4 p.m.

The other team in the tournament, Canada, will meet a select local team in a warm up match.

On Monday, beginning at 5:15, Canada will face off with Trinidad and Tobago, followed by St. Vincent and the Grenadines versus the select team.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines play their final match on Tuesday afternoon against Canada from 5:15. Thereafter, Trinidad and Tobago will play the select local team. All non-competitive matches are slated to commence at 6:30.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines team is expected to put on show some new faces, while ace defender Joanna Christopher has regained her rightful place in the team. She will, however, be wearing the Goal Shooter’s bib, this time around.

The powerfully built Christopher was dubiously left out of last year’s team to the CNA tournament. Veteran centre court player, the evergreen Dellarice Duncan, will lead the Vincentian young charges.

One notable absentee from the local team is top goal shooter Skiddy Francis-Crick. Reports are that the guru in the attacking circle has called a day. Francis-Crick, who took a break from the sport for a few years, returned last year for the Caribbean championships.

Several regional teams have opted out of the tournament citing lack of finance for their withdrawal.

Last year’s CNA champions, Jamaica and runners up Barbados, have already qualified for the Commonwealth Games.