“We are very, very, very proud of winning today because our ranking will be moving up.”
Trinidad and Tobago’s Under-21 netball vice captain Jellene Richardson was clearly elated after her team scored a 56-36 victory over Northern Ireland to confirm their place in the World Youth Netball Championships quarterfinals, and a guaranteed top eight finish.
The victory was T&T’s third in as many preliminary round matches at the Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, after they whipped Bermuda 47-31 on Saturday, and ran past Malta for a 69-32 triumph a day later.
Richardson said T&T’s will to win took them over the line against tough opponents, after the young “Calypso Girls” led at half-time by just four goals.
“Today we said that we were going to fight and play harder than the rest of the games and we really did that,” Richardson said. “They pushed us in a sense how we had to (fight) plenty, plenty. So we did what we have to do.”
T&T were behind the Irish early in the encounter, and ended the first quarter trailing 13-10. But the fightback started in the second period, and by the 28th minute, they had levelled proceedings.
T&T’s defence, led by goalkeeper Chervelle Cox, made life difficult for the opposing shooters, while pressure from T&T goal shoot Samantha Wallace to win the ball back resulted in a number of Irish errors at the other end of the court.
In the third quarter T&T pulled away, until they stretched their lead to a comfortable 20 goals by the final whistle.
T&T have assured themselves at least an eighth placing, two better than their tenth spot finish at the last edition in 2009 in the Cook Islands.
Today, T&T will finish the prelims against the 2009 runners-up New Zealand—they were beaten by Australia—in what is expected to be their toughest contest yet.