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SVG U-23 Netball title on the line

SVG U-23 Netball title on the line


ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES Under-23 netballers had their title hopes on the line last evening when they were set to meet hosts St. Lucia in the ECCB OECS championships.

Going into yesterday’s decider against their arch rival, the march to another title became more challenging after St. Vincent and the Grenadines, twelve times champion, was behind the count, having been unexpectedly beaten by St. Kitts on Monday.{{more}}

Scripted to be a straight fight for championship honours between the two Windward Islands neighbours, St. Kitts upset the plan, handing St. Vincent and the Grenadines a 51 to 48 beating.

But, the permutations were eased when St. Lucia defeated St. Kitts.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines, after the hat trick, had the life line of beating the hosts, and to depend on goal difference, to hand them their thirteenth lien of the sub regional competition.

On opening night Sunday, St. Vincent and the Grenadines distanced Antigua and Barbuda 70-30, rebounded on Tuesday morning to outpoint Nevis 61-30, and whipped Dominica 61-38 later that same day.

Prior to their date with St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines was set to meet lowly rated Anguilla on Wednesday. The Vincentians were set to meet Grenada yesterday morning, over whom they were expected to get the upper hand, taking the advantage of piling on the goals to help their cause.

The Vincentian outfit sported experienced players who are regulars on the senior team, in Saska Diamond, Leanna Lewis, Marcia Gordon and Anella Samuel.

Also a regular at the Under-23 level, Tamara Samuel formed part of a formidable Vincentian line up.

The support members were Maxine James, Bownie Allicott, Shannique de Shong, Shelisa Davis and Shevorn Clarke.

Nicole Sandy had doubled up as Manager/Coach.

The Vincentians had four straight wins from 1991 to 1994, then championed again in 1996. There were five titles in a row from 1998 to 2002.The other triumphs came in 1996, with back to back wins in 2006 and 2007.

The 1995, 1997, 2004 and 2005 winner was St. Lucia. Grenada had the other title in 2003.

In the recent past, this country won in the qualifiers in 2005, against Trinidad and Tobago and Canada, that earned them a berth at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

A third place in the AFNA qualifiers held in Barbados in 2006 was not enough to send them to the World Tournament in New Zealand in 2007.

Once dominant at the OECS club champions’ level, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, through its representative Mitres, had to settle for a second spot at this year’s competition.

The Under-16 lasses finished third at the Caribbean tournament in Antigua and Barbuda in April.