Gems shine

Guardian General Pride of Villa’s woes continued last night when they were beaten 41-36 by an efficient Phoenix Gems as action continued in the Barbados Netball Association’s Division I competition at the Netball Stadium.

Just over 24-hours after going down to St. Barnabas, Pride of Villa squandered a stirring third-quarter comeback with a lukewarm performance when it really mattered in the fourth quarter, to surrender their second game on the trot. But credit must be given to Phoenix Gems whose consistency and poise under pressure gained them the well-deserved victory.

Pride of Villa tried a number of combinations during the game with goal shoots Kimberley Brathwaite and Philicia Holder, as well as goal attacks Latonia Blackman, Nadia Blackman and Kelly Ann Knight all getting the opportunity on the offensive end for Pride of Villa.

Though coming out on the losing end, Pride of Villa demonstrated better percentage shooting than the winners but their attack suffered from inadequate service with too many passes being intercepted or going awry.

Indeed, over the four quarters while they made 43 attempts at goal, Phoenix Gems had 53.

Leading Phoenix Gems’ offensive efforts was Chemyne Alleyne who netted 21 goals from 28 attempts, while she was ably assisted by Shannon Hackett who scored eight goals from 10 attempts and Shonica Wharton who had 12 goals from 15 attempts. Phoenix Gems had slender leads after the first two quarters (10-8, 20-18) as Pride of Villa kept in contention. Then in the third quarter they outscored Phoenix Gems 11 goals to eight to take a 29-28 lead at the break.

But all the hard grind of the third quarter was wasted as Pride of Villa buckled under the defensive pressure of the Gems’ lasses with a number of interceptions at one end invariably resulting in successful scoring opportunities for the winners at the other. While Phoenix Gems managed to score 13 goals in the final period, Pride of Villa were restricted to a paltry seven goals.

For Pride of Villa, Holder had 15 goals from 18 attempts, Brathwaite had five goals from seven attempts, Latonia had 12 goals from 14 attempts, Nadia netted her three attempts at goal while Knight scored her only attempt.

Some fans screamed themselves hoarse in the exciting Division 4 match-up between Kings Park and Barbados Lumber Co. UAC which ended in a 27-27 draw.†It was a close encounter throughout with a late fourth quarter rally from UAC ensuring them a share of the spoils after the first three quarters read 8-5, 16-12, and 20-19.

Sasha Brathwaite led the scoring for Kings Park with 16 goals from 22 attempts, while Sharon Murray had 11 from 16 attempts. Veteran player Janita Austin had 15 goals from 21 attempts for UAC while Jessica Bancroft had 12 goals from 16 attempts.

The trend of close games continued when Pine Hill St. Barnabas took on Newbury Ballers with the latter emerging victorious 26-24.

Newbury Ballers led throughout the encounter but St. Barnabas’ furious third and fourth quarter rally just failed in getting them the win. Newbury led 8-6 after one quarter and increased to a substantial 18-10 lead at the half. But St. Barnabas finally woke from their lethargic play, especially in defence, to restrict Newbury to just five goals while they scored nine in response to finish the third quarter in deficit by only four goals (19-23).

St. Barnabas continued their resurgence but missed too many goal attempts, especially Zakiya Kirton. Though they restricted Newbury to a mere three goals in the final quarter, St. Barnabas managed only five goals that were not enough to get them over the victory line.

For St. Barnabas Kirton scored 21 goals but missed a whopping 20 other attempts, while Tachina Young scored three goals from seven attempts. Newbury’s Shakelia Smith had 19 goals from 23 attempts while Khadija Domingo had seven goals from nine attempts.†In other games, Pride of Villa’s Division 5 side defeated Sion Hill 31-23; Lucky Horseshoe Police Sports Club beat Bico Delight 28-19 in Division 6; and UWI Blackbirds mauled Bagatelle 32-9 in another Division 6 encounter. (WG)††

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