Thursday, April 25, 2024

Two big netball clashes at Stadium

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Netball?fans are in for a treat when three of the possible four play-off contenders battle in a Division One double-header at the Netball Stadium, tonight.
League queens C.O. Williams Rangers, new knockout champions Pine Hill St Barnabas and the exciting Pride of Villa will be placing their 1-0 records on the line when they take to the courts at 7 p.m. Rangers should win their second straight game when they meet the talented but timid Phoenix Gems, but either St Barnabas or Villa will lose when they clash on Court Two.
Height, size, experience and court craft will be on show and will determine tonight’s winners when the final whistles are blown. The great form of the shooters backed by midcourt creativity and stingy defence will provide a good gauge to the likely end of season queens.
St Barnabas’ new acquisition Laurel Browne has been in sublime shooting form and it will be interesting to see how she contends with the equally tall six-footer Faye Sealy in the circle. At the other end, six-footers Shonette Bruce of St Barnabas and Latonia Blackman, who has been deadly for Villa, will also provide a telling matchup.
The support of the returning Sheniqua Thomas or the experience of Julie Phillips backed by Jackie Browne-McConney, Samantha Browne and Marissa Burgess will be critical. Similarly, captain Makeba Clarke, Delicia Murrell, Nadia Blackman and the versatile Kamillah Burke will have to step up to stop St Barnabas.
How much stepping up the Gems, an incomplete construct of the Barbados under-21 team, can do to stop the likes of Olivia Walcott, Shakeena Rock, Sabreena Smith, Tyneisha Rowe, Rhe-Ann Niles, Janelle Sealy and Rhonda Harris is tough to gauge.
The Gems have great talent in imposing sisters Shonica and Shanice Wharton, along with Shanice Rock, Chemyne Alleyne and Tonisha Rock-Yaw.
However, while the high-jumping Niles can torment Shonica at one end in defence, Walcott’s accuracy and experience are expected to defy Shanice at the other. In addition, Rangers’ midcourt players should dance around the Gems while their tight defence will frustrate the younger players. (KB)

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