June 17, 2011

Netball face off

The 2011 Digicel National Club Netball Tournament is nearing completion, but not without a bone of contention.

And, that contention is the crucial match between the two front runners of Division four, Nature Care Netters and X- Ceed Sports Club.{{more}}

The match, which was played April 16 at the Arnos Vale Netball Complex saw Nature Care Netters leading X- Ceed Sports Club 17-9, but the match finished prematurely because of bad light, with ten minutes remaining.

The game was rescheduled later that month. However, it was not played as players on both teams were selected for the Under -16 team that travelled to St. Kitts prior to this postponement.

It was also reset for last month, but that never materialized because of another issue involving substitutions.

The remaining minutes are yet to be played, and the management of Nature Care, led by Natasha Sandy, is claiming that Godfrey Harry, who is the President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Netball Association, and under whose portfolio the tournament comes, wants to bend the rules to accommodate his team. Harry is the Coach of the X- Ceed Sports Club.

“We the management of Nature Care Netters requested a postponement, but were told it cannot be postponed for one player. However, following this, it was postponed to accommodate the players from X-Ceed that were selected,” Sandy contended to SEARCHLIGHT last Wednesday afternoon.

Harry reported to SEARCHLIGHT also last Wednesday that according to the bye laws of the tournament, the match could either be replayed in its entirety, or the remaining ten minutes can be played.

Harry stated that on the day when the three quarters were played, he and Nature Care Netters agreed that the remaining ten minutes would have been played.

According to Sandy, “When it was once again rescheduled in May, upon arrival, we were told by the Games Secretary Cheryl Alexander that we were not allowed to make any changes to our line up since our form was already submitted”.

Sandy, however, alleges that X-Ceed was allowed to make changes to their line up, even though their form had also been submitted.

“We as the management of Netters will ensure that the rights of our players are defended fully, and we are still awaiting the decision as it relates to this game as because of the delay, this game is now the league championship deciding game for Division four,” Sandy said.

Harry, though, took a diversion from Netball and is accusing Sandy and Nichole Sandy- Stevenson of disrespecting him at the last occasion on which an attempt was made to play the match.

“If they do not like Godfrey Harry, at least respect my position as President of the (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) Netball Association”, Harry said.

“I do not want to be embroiled in a battle with anyone’, Harry stated, as he chose not to take disciplinary action against Sandy and Sandy- Stevenson.

Harry confirmed to SEARCHLIGHT that the remaining ten minutes will be played next Monday at the Kingstown Netball Centre. (RT)