T&T's Calypso Girls bounce back with victory over Singapore, Bajan Gems lose again at Netball World Cup

By July 29, 2023
Barbados Gems in action against Scotland. Barbados Gems in action against Scotland. Getty Images

After being humbled by reigning champions New Zealand in their opening Vitality Netball World Cup contest, Trinidad and Tobago’s Calypso Girls bounced back in style, as they bettered Singapore 49-36, but it was not the same for Barbados Gems, who suffered a second-consecutive defeat in a 44-53 scoreline against Scotland in Cape Town, South Africa on Saturday.

The Calypso Girls, who lost 27-72 to number two-ranked Silver Ferns on Friday, were always favoured to come up trumps against Singapore and that they did to keep their hopes of progressing to the business round of the tournament alive.

Co-captain Afeisha Noel lead from the front with 38 goals from 44 attempts, with Joelisa Cooper and Tiana Dillon contributing three and eight goals and from four and nine attempts respectively, as Trinidad and Tobago led from start to finish.

Amandeep Chahal 23 goals from 31 attempts and Kai Wei Toh, 13 goals from 28 attempts offered Singapore’s resistance.

With the win, Trinidad and Tobago moved to two points, same as Uganda who lost 44-54 to Pool D leaders and tournament favourites New Zealand, on four points.

The Calypso Girls Head coach Joel Young-Strong took heart from her team’s performance heading into their final contest against Uganda on Sunday.

“It is an awesome feeling, sometimes we were a bit off track with the goal and plan that we had and the things that we worked on and talked about. But it was good to see them correct the errors and go back to playing the way we wanted them to play which was good,” Young-Strong said in a post-game interview.

“We learnt from the first game that we had to be extra patient and we had to manage the ball even better and we did that in this game to some extent. We made some adjustments because we didn’t want to take anything for granted where Singapore is concerned and I am just happy for this win,” she added.

Barbados Gems were unable to say the same, as they found Scotland too good on the day, though both teams went to the half time break locked at 23-23.

Scotland, who had suffered an agonising defeat against Malawi in Friday's Pool B opener, capitalised on a number of unforced errors by the Gems at the backend of the game to secure a victory which positions them well to progress to the next stage.

Beth Goodwin 13 goals from 19 attempts, Niamh McCall 29 goals from 31 attempts and Emma Barrie 11 goals from 14 attempts, got the job done for the Scots.

Meanwhile, Latonia Blackman 20 goals from 22 attempts and Kadeen Corbin 24 goals from 27 attempts, lead the fight for Barbados.

The result meant the Gems are on the verge of being eliminated from contention and must win against Malawi on Sunday to remain alive. England, who defeated Malawi 62-39, head Pool B on four points.

Though again plagued by turnovers, Corbin believes it was a much-improved performance from the team.

“I thought we played really well, we just lost it at the last minute, but I think what we did positive in the first game, we improved on that today and we actually kept pushing and showing that we have the fight.

“We did lose a little bit of connection in attack at one point, but we spoke about it quickly on court and rectified that as soon as possible and once we got going, we kept on chugging away. But it was a bit too late and at the end it wasn’t enough,” Corbin shared.

“I give credit to all my teammates who fought on that court today. We got Malawi to come which is not going to be an easy game, we are going to have to fight to the last whistle. Hopefully, what we did positive today we can do better tomorrow and compete as best as we can,” she added.

Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

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