Golden girls travel down under
February 4, 2005
Golden girls travel down under

St.Vincent and the Grenadines’ senior netballers have grabbed the last qualifying spot of the Americas Federation of Netball Association (AFNA) zone to next year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Host St.Vincent and the Grenadines played unbeaten throughout the three-way play off. {{more}}

The young Vincentian charges formalised their berth to the prestigious games with a 59-47 triumph over Canada on Tuesday night.

After a spirited fight in the first three quarters,the Canadians lost their way as fatigue kicked in the last quarter.

It was 14-13 after the first quarter, 26-23 at the end of the second and 47-41 going into the last quarter.

Returning to national duties, Joanna Christopher was in sparkling form as she drilled in 57 goals from her 66 attempts.

Vincentian Alicia Jack, formerly of Layou and now playing for her adopted Canada, sank 31 of her 34 attempts.

But the home team’s date with destiny was confirmed in the opening fixture on Sunday against Trinidad and Tobago.

In the virtual final, both teams kept within touching distance of each other as neither took full charge at any stage.

The ding-dong tussle brought both teams level pegging 39-39 at the end of the third quarter, setting up an intriguing last period.

This spurred the local support into louder chanting, as they competed against the members of Trinidad and Tobago cricket team who were on hand to lend their compatriots vocal support.

The Vincentians made an early surge establishing a five goal lead.

This came as coach Godfrey Harry made a tactical change, moving captain Dellarice Duncan to the Goal Attack position.

Duncan’s speed and experience combined up well with Christopher accuracy. The two matched the fleet-footed Trinidadians stride for stride, and negated their well-planned counter-attacks..

However, a few unforced errors by the inexperienced local lasses gave the visitors a last gasp.

Trinidad and Tobago came within one point,at 51-50,with under two minutes remaining.

A crucial miss by Trinidad and Tobago’s Goal Shooter Janelle Barker though, proved to be decisive and sank the visiting team’s expectations.

The home team eventually squeezed home 53-51.

Coach Harry said at the end of the qualifiers he was “happy’’ with his team.

His emotions were based on having a “young” team to work with.

Harry who had a few debutantes under his tutelage, said that they gave a good account granted their inexperience.

The local team played without many of the regulars, most of whom are overseas on scholarships, but who are expected to make the journey down under next year March.

Trinidad and Tobago rebounded the following day with a 66-40 win over minnows Canada.

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Netball Association will immediately start its fund-raising efforts to ensure the team reaches Australia.

Jamaica and Barbados are the other countries from the Caribbean region which will participate in the Commonwealth Games.

Those that made certain of St.Vincent and the Grenadines’ first berth to these games were Dellarice Duncan(Captain),Joanna Christopher, Avonelle Richardson, Ornallie King, Jacintha Adams, Marcia Gordon, Annette King, Geshelle Peters, Saskia Diamond, Nyasha Williams, Jasmine Frank and Sonia Olliver.