BARBADOS’ most capped netballer Latonia Blackman showed her tremendous versatility in leading Guardian Group Pride of Villa to the Division 1 playoffs by destroying former queens CO Williams Rangers 53-17 on Monday night at the Netball Stadium.
After knocking down a game high 34 goals from 38 attempts, Blackman offered the hapless Rangers no hope as she swapped the goal shooter bib for the goalkeeper’s to even deny her opponents the one point which losing teams earn for scoring at least half of the winner’s goals.
Villa have ended the regular season 4/1 with 21 points to join Spooners Hill Firebirds, who have finished with the same record. Another former champion Pine Hill St Barnabas can achieve that record to make it a three-team playoff.
Rangers already depleted by injury suffered another blow when former national player Olivia Walcott, who has been outstanding as a replacement shooter could not suit up.
Villa then set the tone on a cold night on a wet court by blazing to a 16-3 advantage in the first quarter.
After moving to 29-9 at the end of the second quarter, Villa destroyed the Rangers in the pivotal third, outscoring their opponents 14-2 to advance to 43-11.
At one stage it seemed as if the game was being played in just one half of the court as Villa scored 12 goals before Rangers responded.
In that quarter, Blackman forced goal attack Shakeena Rock to get into the scoring action as the out of form pint-sized player seemed happy to assist after taking just ten shots to score one up to that stage.
Rock, a former Ranger then joined the freeness, sinking 13/22. Faye Agard who replaced Blackman scored 6/9.
Rangers shot at 50 per cent but combined their attempted 35 shots, just one more than what Blackman actually scored. Young Xhane Greenidge scored 6/12 while Tonisha Rock-Yaw made 5/10.
The talented Tatyana Walrond later replaced Rock-Yaw firing some long distance goals to add 6/13.
However, with the improving Chante Moore playing a great defence and Barbados footballer Kamillah Burke excelling in the role of centre, Blackman, Agard and Rock only slowed in the fourth quarter when the massive defeat was already obvious. (KB)