Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Spooners Hill in play-offs


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Spooners Hill confirmed their place in the Barbados Netball Association’s Division One play-offs with a 48-32 victory over Guardian General Pride of Villa on Wednesday night.
Despite the defeat, Pride of Villa remain in line to earn the fourth and last spot.
Unless a number of miracles occur over the next couple of rounds, 2013 knockouts queens Pine Hill St Barnabas should remain undefeated to qualify in the top position.
League queens C.O. Williams Rangers should end second with Spooners Hill third, Villa fourth, UWI Blackbirds fifth and Phoenix Gems sixth.
With Rangers and St Barnabas slated to meet the other four teams, the quartet can only change the order by scoring some stunning upsets.
On a cold wet night at the Netball Stadium, the consistent form of former Barbados player Lydia Bishop lit up the court for Spooners Hill with the goal shooter sinking a match-high 37 goals from 43 attempts. Goal attack Colleen Griffith added 11 from 17 with Spooners Hill playing under protest as Julie Phillips of St Barnabas was one of the umpires for the game.
Whereas the tall Philicia Holder proved ineffective in slowing or stopping Bishop at the other end, the physical Cherikah Shepherd showed value at goal keeper, winning a number of tough battles with Faye Sealy and Kimberley Brathwaite. Even so, Sealy led Villa with 28 goals from 35 attempts while a sub-par Brathwaite added four from eight.
Except for an 8-8 score at the end of the first quarter, Spooners Hill dominated, leading 22-16 and 35-22 before ending 48-32.
In another match, UWI Blackbirds’ repeat win over Phoenix Gems gave the campus side only their second triumph for the season.  
They held the interval advantage 11-7, 24-18, 33-27 before finally taking the match 45-40.
The off-the-court issues where the Under-21 coaching staff was fired did not appear to affect the Gems with coaches Sonya Knight and Marion Johnson-Hurley answering the call to run the tactics. Unfortunately, the players’ lack of consistency was not the answer the coaches were seeking.
UWI’s attackers Monique James and Michelle Liburd had equal opportunities of 31 shots each with Liburd scoring 23 and James 22.  The Gems called on the tall trio of Chemyne Alleyne (15/20), Shonica Wharton (14/20) and Shannon Hackett 11/19.
The Gems locked the scores at 15-15 to then go ahead 18-16, the only time they were in front.
The action continues today at8 p.m. at the Netball Stadium with the Blackbirds taking on Rangers and Spooners Hill challenging St Barnabas.


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