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Calypso Girls edged by Malawi in final warmup

Venezuela, Caracas
Calypso Girls edged by Malawi in final warmup

Goal-at­tack Kali­fa Mc­Collin took on a big­ger shoot­ing role in T&T’s se­nior net­ball team fi­nal warmup match ahead of the Net­ball World Cup which starts on Fri­day in Eng­land but the “Ca­lyp­so Girls” was still on the los­ing end.

Mario Villarroel Lander

Yes­ter­day at the Sport Wales Na­tion­al Cen­tre, the na­tion­al net­ballers were edged by Malawi 53-52 on day five of the Wales Sum­mer Test Se­ries

Mc­Collin shot with 95 per cent ac­cu­ra­cy, net­ting 20 goals from 21 at­tempts against the World‘s ninth-ranked team, Malawi, again giv­ing good sup­port to goal-shoot­er Saman­tha Wal­lace, who was not at her best this time around

Wal­lace poured in 30 from 37 tries in a match which saw T&T hold a com­fort­able eight-goal ad­van­tage at the end of the first quar­ter, 18-10. The Wes­ley “Pepe” Gomes-coached T&T con­trolled the sec­ond quar­ter de­spite the Malaw­ians chip­ping away at the lead, to come with six (30-24) at half­time

In the third quar­ter, the lo­cal net­ballers play dropped sig­nif­i­cant­ly on both ends as they were outscored, 15-6 to trail 39-36 en­ter­ing the fourth ses­sion

The na­tion­al net­ballers man­aged to re­gain their com­po­sure and won the fi­nal quar­ter outscor­ing their op­po­nents, 16-14, but it was not enough to avoid the one-goal de­feat

Coach Gomes opt­ed to make a change in the shoot­ing cir­cle, bring­ing in Tahi­rah “Bub­bles” Hollingsworth for Mc­Collin as the goal-at­tack and she was good for two of four at­tempts

Over the past three days, the “Ca­lyp­so Girls” were well test­ed ahead of their trip to Liv­er­pool

In Sat­ur­day’s open­ing warmup match against North­ern Ire­land, T&T held the eighth-ranked team to a 49-49 draw, re­turn­ing a day lat­er, to be beat­en by the host coun­try Wales. The Welsh team, who ear­li­er suf­fered back-to-back loss­es to South Africa, 84-32 on Thurs­day and 79-44 on Fri­day, bounced back to com­plete a 72-64 over the “Ca­lyp­so Girls”

Ac­tion in the World event be­gins on Fri­day and T&T will face off against the fifth-ranked South Africans in their open­ing match. The fol­low­ing day, the 10th ranked T&T, cap­tained by Rhon­da John-Davis who will set a world record for the num­ber of World Cup ap­pear­ances, six, (1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015), will meet the sec­ond-ranked Ja­maican “Sun­shine Girls” and then on Sun­day plays Fi­ji, who is ranked 17th, in their fi­nal Group C pre­lim­i­nary round match.

Group A com­pris­es win­ners of the last three edi­tions and 11-times cham­pi­on over­all, top-ranked Aus­tralia, North­ern Ire­land, Zim­bab­we (No 13) and Sri Lan­ka (No 18); Group B fea­tures four-time win­ners, New Zealand (No 4), Malawi, Bar­ba­dos (No 11) and Sin­ga­pore (No 26), and Group D con­sists of reign­ing Com­mon­wealth Games cham­pi­on and world num­ber three, Eng­land, Ugan­da (No 6), Scot­land (No 7), and Samoa (No 14)

At the end of the round-robin stage, the top three teams in each group ad­vanc­ing to the sec­ond pre­lim­i­nary round. The top three teams from Groups A and B will form Pool F while the top three teams in C and D will com­prise Group G

Where teams in groups F and G have al­ready played each oth­er in the Pre­lim­i­nar­ies Stage One, that is. A1 has al­ready played A2 and A3, these re­sults will car­ry through to the pre­lim­i­nar­ies sec­ond round.

The teams fin­ish­ing first and sec­ond in groups F and G will go through to the semi­fi­nals, with the top-placed team in each group fac­ing the sec­ond-placed team in the oth­er group. The win­ners of each semi­fi­nal will com­pete for gold in the fi­nal, with the losers play­ing for bronze.