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.