GRENADA went down 77-29 to Trinidad and Tobago Tuesday's fourth day of the Americas Federation Netball Association (AFNA) Senior Netball Championship taking place at the Jean Pierre Complex, Port-of-Spain.
Looking to create an upset, Grenada played with energy and much better than the score suggested. However, Trinidad and Tobago never looked in danger of losing at any time, and led 29-9, 39-11, 57-18 and 77-29 over all four quarters. Grenada were kept alive by consistent shooter Sharon Jeremiah who scored 23 goals, while Nadine Lett netted six times.
T&T had several challenges on Tuesday night, the least of which were the girls from the Spice Island. Coach Jennifer Frank had to draw on her reserves after the Calypso Netballers picked up three key injuries on the night - Joe Lisa Cooper (goal-attack), Anastasia Cooper (goal-shoot) and Kimfer Phillip (Goalkeeper) all having to leave the field.
Goal-attack, Joe Lisa Cooper scored an almost perfect 13 goals from 14 attempts then was stretchered off two minutes into the third quarter after falling heavily and injuring her knee. Cooper was taken to the tournament doctor and though able to walk afterwards, she skipped yesterday morning's team practice as a precaution.
"Joelisa is okay,"stated team manager Vanessa Forde yesterday. "She had a rest this morning. After the injury she was taken to the doctor and came out walking. We are monitoring the situation, but prefer to rest her for the next match (last night against the United States)."
Cooper was replaced at goal-attack by 22 year-old Jellene Richardson, who after missing two of her first four shots, warmed to the task well and contributed 11 goals to the total.
Wilson was once again Trinidad and Tobago's top scorer with 49 goals on the night. But she earned many of them the hard way. Grenada brought on Shakira Collymore as goal-keeper in the second quarter and the robust defender caused Wilson a world of trouble. Shorter, but solidly built, Collymore made Wilson contest every ball she got. Collymore's presence caused 37-year-old Wilson to miss a few goals, and Wilson also made a few turnovers when resorting to elbowing and sometimes initiating contact with the dogged Grenadian defender. Wilson was briefly treated for a back injury before finally leaving the game five minutes from the end. She was replaced by 27-year-old Alicia Liverpool, who was a physical presence, and scored four goals in the brief time she was on.
Kemfa Phillip also went off with a nose injury, but returned to the goal-keeper's position in the third quarter.
Both Phillip and goal-defence Crystal Ann George worked as a solid tandem for T&T and drew lusty applause from the public. A flying interception from Phillip was well appreciated, with T&T leading 28-9 in the second quarter, and centre Tricia Liverpool also drew big applause when leaping to intercept a pass, before stepping out of bounds. T&T began the match with Anastasia Wilson (GS), Joelisa Cooper (GA), Onella Jack (WD), Crystal Ann George (GD), Tricia Richardson (C), Kemfa Phillip(GK) and Candice Guerero (WA).
Matching the local team with four victories in the tournament so far are Caribbean rivals Barbados and Jamaica. The Bajan women were ruthless against the outmatched young Guyanese and won 112- 13. Barbados led 31-3, 58-4, 87-7 and 112-13 over four quarters.
The lanky Sunshine Girls from Jamaica were far too good for Canada and beat the North Americans 79 -19.
The Jamaicans opened up with a 16-goal lead and it was almost a surprised when the Canadian scored a first goal. Jamaica finished the first quarter with a 23-3 lead and were further ahead at 62-13 after three quarters. Also victorious on Wednesday were the Americans, who defeated their close neighbors Bermuda. The Americans led 15-7, 31-14, 47-21 and 64-28.
Barbados and Jamaica will meet in the one of the tournament's key clashes this afternoon.
Indoor - Canada v Grenada, 9am
Court 1 - Barbados v Jamaica, 5.30pm
Court 2 - USA v T&T, 5.45pm
Court 3 - Bermuda v Grenada, 6pm
Court 1 - St Lucia v Canada, 6.30pm