OECS Under-23 Netball title drought extended
July 12, 2011

OECS Under-23 Netball title drought extended

St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ quest to take the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank/ OECS Under-23 Netball title has to wait for another year, as the drought has been extended.{{more}}

The Vincentian team, which last won the competition in 2007, has endured its longest wait without the top spot, since the inception of the competition in 1991.

The Vincentians failed to regain the title when the 20th edition of the competition ended last Wednesday night, at the Pam Tyson Complex in St. Kitts.

The 12-time champion finished second behind the hosts, who played unbeaten in their six matches.

But Manager of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines team Sylvorn Lewis- Harry is assuring that, come 2012, “the title is ours”.

Lewis – Harry made this bold prediction last Thursday night at the E T Joshua Airport, following the team’s return.

The Manager said with the core of the team eligible for next year, her team would be in good stead, and with St. Kitts losing some of their influential players, this could prove beneficial to the Vincentian cause.

Lewis- Harry revealed that from this year’s team, Captain Tamara Samuel and Co- Captain Maxine James will be the two members who will be ineligible.

However, Lewis-Harry was disappointed that her charges did not recapture the title, but said that their performance represented an improvement from last year.

In their only loss to the host, Lewis- Harry blamed fatigue and solid home crowd support, which worked against her team’s psyche.

But in an interview with Andre Huie of Winnfm of St. Kitts, soon after their defeat, Coach of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines team Skiddy Francis-Crick had a different view and pointed to the problem of her shooters.

“Our shooters need to be more focused; they need to relax and score,” said Francis-Crick, who is the former Goal Shoot for the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Under-23 and senior teams, and is still the leading shooter in the Senior Division of the National Club Tournament here.

St. Kitts took hold of the title, after they had a superior goal differential going into the last match.

A 40-40 draw with dethroned champions Grenada ended the competition in fine style.

It was St. Kitts’ second lien on the subregional age group competition, which they first won in 2009, when the competition was staged in their sister isle, Nevis.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who placed third in 2010, recorded five wins and one loss.

First they beat St. Lucia 43-34, but lost to the host 54-40, last week Sunday in their second match.

Last week Monday, the Vincentians first cruised past Nevis 66-18 and later in the evening stopped Dominica, 51-33.

On Tuesday morning, the defending champions overturned Grenada 57-44.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines completed the competition with a 76-18 triumph over Anguilla on the final night. Also last Wednesday, St. Lucia stopped Nevis 38-14.

Grenada, who also won in 2003 and 2008, placed third, St. Lucia, winners in 1995, 1997, 2004 and 2005, placed fourth. Dominica finished fifth, Anguilla sixth and Nevis was seventh.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines copped titles in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006 and 2007.