Grenada join Calypso Girls with strong day one

TWO nations won both their day one clashes at the 2023 Netball World Cup Americans Qualifiers, with Grenada and Trinidad & Tobago both claiming victories. With nine nations competing, it presents a hectic schedule for organisers to see every nation go head-to-head with each other for two qualification spots. Jamaica has already qualified for the World Cup thanks to its ranking, with Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados tipped to be the other ones to advance.

On day one, Barbados kicked off its tournament up first with a 40-goal win over Cayman Islands. Though the latter actually went goal-for-goal with the Bajan Gems, Barbados clicked into clear late in the first term and piled on 21-4 in the second to build an unassailable lead. The success continued in the final two terms, winning by 40, 67-27.

St Vincent & The Grenadines knocked off the United States, despite having just 0.03 per cent of the States’ total population, showcasing the depth of talent in the Caribbean. St Vincent & The Grenadines were strong defensively and raced out to a 15-3 first term lead, and while the United States was far better in the second term, still found the going tough 21 goals down. A low-scoring quarter was effectively even, before the leaders piled on 14-9 in a far higher scoring final term.

Favourites to finish the highest spot outside Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago completed off a busy day one with a 38-goal victory over St Lucia. By quarter time the score was 17-7 in favour of the Calypso Girls and the forward attack allowed them to continue to build, providing plenty of rotational options on the court. By the final whistle, the score was 63-25, with the Calypso Girls attacking duo of Janeisha Cassimy and Afeisha Noel at wing attack and goal attack particularly influential in the game.

In the last streamed match of the day, Jamaica crushed St Vincent & The Grenadines who were backing up off their victory over the United States. Surprisingly boasting a strong outfit which included Jhaniele Fowler, the Sunshine Girls piled on 41 goals to 15 by half-time, largely off the hand of Fowler in goal shooter. In the end, the Sunshine Girls were just too strong, running out 74-35 victors in a comfortable, but expected victory.

In other results, Trinidad & Tobago defeated Antigua & Barbuda early in the day, running out 31-goal victors in that game to move atop of the table. The other side that stood along with the Calypso Girls was Grenada, who overcame both St Lucia (eight goals) and Cayman Islands (10), handing both sides their additional defeats on day one. Elsewhere, the United States bounced back to get on the board at the Qualifiers, defeating Antigua & Barbuda in the late season by 12 goals, to ensure its opponents also started the tournament at 0-2.

After a busy first day, day two has just gotten underway on court with the four matches taking place. Grenada and Antigua & Barbuda kick off proceedings the potential for the former to remain undefeated from three games. The top three nations in Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados will all be in action, taking on the United States, St Vincent & The Grenadines and St Lucia respectively. The much anticipated clash of Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago occurs on the final day, Saturday.

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