July 13, 2012
SVG Under-23 netballers lift 2012 OECS title

After a drought of four years, St Vincent and the Grenadines reclaimed the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Under-23 Netball title,{{more}} with a perfect record in the 2012 version, which concluded at the Tanteen Sports Complex, Wednesday night, in Grenada.

Facing last year’s champions St Kitts, the Vincentians had to dig deep in the last quarter to overturn a deficit, with the Kittians leading in the first three quarters.

However, the Vincentians prevailed 47-42 to lift the 22nd edition of the tournament, which started in 1991.

Apart from the champion trophy, St Vincent and the Grenadines took the Best Defending Team award, while Bownie Allicott was the St Vincent and the Grenadines team’s Most Valuable Player.

St Kitts, who had titles in 2009 and 2011, had to settle for second and host Grenada, winners in 2003, 2008 and 2010 finished third.

Last Wednesday also, Grenada and St Lucia drew 45-45 and Dominica registered an 80-15 dismantling of Montserrat.

Coach of the St Vincent and the Grenadines team Godfrey Harry, speaking to SEARCHLIGHT via telephone last Wednesday night, expressed delight in his team’s performance.

“It was a hard fought victory for us and I am glad, really happy, although I am not one to show emotions at these things,” Harry said.

“The win is a good boost for Netball in St Vincent and the Grenadines and should inspire the youngsters at home, as the title has been eluding us for some time”, Harry added.

Harry said he was always optimistic of the team going one better than last year’s second placing.

“As I have said, once you have the right things in place, success will come,” Harry concluded.

In 2011, St Vincent and the Grenadines finished runner-up to St Kitts, and then Manager of the team, Sylvorn Harry, boldly predicted to SEARCHLIGHT that the Vincentians would win in 2012.

The triumph by St Vincent and the Grenadines stretched their tally of Under-23 sub-regional Netball titles to thirteen. The last of the titles came back in 2007, when the tournament was staged in Antigua and Barbuda.

Before that, St Vincent and the Grenadines had wins in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2006.

Heading into last Wednesday’s grand finale, the Vincentians had a relatively easy passage.

When the tournament shot off last Saturday, the Vincentians made light work of Antigua and Barbuda 77-21, and on Sunday eclipsed former champions St Lucia 44-30.

In the first of their two outings on Monday, the Vincentians outscored Montserrat 107-9 and narrowly defeated Grenada 47-46 in their second match of the day.

On Tuesday, St Vincent and the Grenadines dumped Dominica 49-33.

The victorious Vincentian team was due back from Grenada last night. (RT)