Sunday, April 21, 2024

St Barnabas keep clean record

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Pine Hill St Barnabas moved to a 3-0 record while Spooner’s Hill rebounded to 2-1 when the Barbados Netball Association’s Division One league continued on Friday night.
With the rain and slippery conditions affecting the standard of play, Spooner’s Hill won 38-22 to condemn Guardian General Pride of Villa to a 1-3 record and back-to-back losses. 
St Barnabas dropped UWI Blackbirds to 0-3 with a tough 44-36 victory.
The match with Spooner’s Hill and Villa never produced the expected fireworks with heavy rain threatening the continuation of the game in the third quarter.
Villa received just 36 passes in the shooting circle which were eight less than key goal shoot Lydia Bishop was given for Spooner’s Hill.
However, with Villa choosing to put Barbados pair of Faye Sealy at goal-keeper and Latonia Blackman at goal-defence to try to stifle Bishop, the former national markswoman scored a subpar 28 goals. Keisha Griffith sank five of ten for Spooner’s Hill.
Even so, the speed and agility of the robust Bishop saw her often beating the defensive trap of Sealy and Blackman to score some long range and off balance gems. The better centre court of Spooner’s Hill denied Villa greater chances to surge from 8-5 and 18-15 deficits in the first two quarters.
Goal-attack Kelly-Ann Knight delivered with 13 of 18, while Kimberley Brathwaite, who was constantly stifled by Kathleen Brathwaite, shot nine of 18.
But with Villa being outscored 10-4 and 10-3 in the last two quarters, Spooner’s Hill’s normally vociferous bench quietly switched focus to next Friday’s clash with St Barnabas.
Knockout champions St Barnabas struggled to shake off the pesky Blackbirds, who maintained an almost even contest in all of the quarters with scores of 11-7, 23-18, 33-28 and 44-36. 
With Margaret Cutting being the head coach of both teams, Blackbirds knew their opponents and made one of their best starts with Monique James sinking all of her shots.
Unfortunately the heavyweight clash under the ring between James and St Barnabas goal keeper Shonette Bruce turned verbal with umpire Janita Austin putting Bruce to cool down for a few seconds on the sideline during the third quarter. 
After that, James reverted to her missing the ring shooting style.  The hardworking Mechelle Liburd tried to pick up the slack, scoring 18 of 27 with James sinking 18 of 28.
At the other end, Laurel Browne made a mockery of goal-keeper Alicia Harding and defender Jelesal Brathwaite in scoring a game-high 37 goals from 42 attempts while young Sheniqua Thomas made seven of 15.
While the Blackbirds’ greater interest will be in their trip to Jamaica to defend their Inter-Campus title later this month, they will also be hoping that improved play will at least earn a victory over the young Phoenix Gems next Wednesday.

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