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Calypso Girls retain AFNA crown unbeaten
T&T Calypso Girls retained their Americas Federation of Netball Association title with a comfortable 65-51 victory over host Barbados when the eight-team tournament ended at the Sir Garfield Sobers Gymnasium, Bridgetown, Barbados last night.
Going into the match, both teams were already assured of qualification to next year’s Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England, but it was an opportunity for visitors to turn the tables on the host which inflicted a 3-0 series whipping here in T&T last year.
However, the Wesley “Pepe” Gomes-coached T&T women were eager for the win to keep hold of their crown after missing out on participation at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year in Australia.
Both teams started off shaky with the professional shooting duo of Australia-based Samantha Wallace and England-based Kalifa Mc Collin, coming up heavy pressure from the aggressive Barbadian defence/
However, the T&T pair was up to the task and at the end of the first quarter, both teams were level at 15-15.
The second quarter saw a more composed T&T team step up their game both on the attacking end and defensive circle to open a 30-26 advantage at the half-time interval.
Barbados was forced into a change in defence at the start of the third period and the Calypso Girls with Ornella Jack now in goal defence for Shaquanda Greene took full advantage with Wallace sinking all 11 of her attempts and Mc Collin, seven from nine to extend the lead to 48-37 at the end of the third quarter.
The final period was a much closer affair but with Jack and Kemba Duncan in defence along with the experience captain Rhonda John-Davis orchestra things from the centre, the outcome was never in doubt as T&T closed out the match, 17-14 in the final period to end with a perfect record of 7-0 while Barbados was second with a 6-1 mark, and Grenada, third with a 5-2 mark.
In other matches yesterday, Canada defeated St Maarten 65-27 while St Vincent and The Grenadines outclassed Argentina, 88-24.
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