By Saju Ng’alla
Carib Pearl Cayon Pacers, the only undefeated team in the league, is in first place in Division One of the National Netball League.
Meanwhile, Nagico Capisterre Ballstars — the most under-rated team in the top division — has become the most feared team to go up against.
The game of the week took place between the Pacers and bmobile Newtown last Saturday at Netball City.
The game started with both teams exchanging goals for goals, and the first quarter ended with a score of 12-11 in favor of Pacers.
In the second quarter defensive stops by Pacers goalkeeper Shernelee Liburd, gave her team some breathing room. By the end of the first half Pacers led 26-22.
The third quarter started with Pacers goalshooter Jackie Bassue making her presence felt as she made goal after goal with apparent ease. Newtown was unable to contain her.
Clearly Newtown is not the same team as last year, as team members seem to spend more time arguing with referees than concentrating on the game.
Cayon had no problem in executing their game plan over a very distracted Newtown team. The third quarter ended with Pacers increasing the lead 39-33.
In the fourth quarter Newtown — with a number of player substitutions — came out in a fury. To some degree, Newtown’s goalkeeper and goal defender were able to contain Bassue.
This minimal containment allowed Newtown to go on a scoring run that would eventually tie the score.
With the score 44-44, the momentum was on Newtown’s side. However a number of bad plays and the swarming defense of the Pacers, stopped Newtown from taking the lead. With minutes left in the game Pacers led 45-42 and ended strongly with a final score of 47-42.
Pacers is obviously now the team to beat after beating the Shamrocks two weeks ago and then Newtown.
Tomorrow Pacers should easily dispose of Digicel Trendsetters. The Trendsetters is in last place of the division, and have yet to win a game. Pacer should score 60 goals in this game.
In the other match-up, the Jamaican-flavored Shamrocks had a hard task at keeping Capisterre at bay.
The game was close from start to end and was very entertaining to watch.
Last week the Shamrocks created a little stir when Anne Evering, a Jamaican, was introduced in the line-up to play goalkeeper.
Against Capisterre, Evering played goalshooter. However, with her size and power many people thought Evering should have played goalkeeper. Without a formidable goalkeeper, Capisterre seemingly was able to score at will and the first quarter ended 6-6.
The entire game was brutal to watch, particular since the Shamrocks is a very physical team.
Capisterre was able to weather the aggressive play of the Shamrocks and the first half ended 11-10 in favor of Shamrocks.
In the second half Capisterre came out with more intensity, and particularly forced Shamrocks center to make a number of errors that may have cost her team the game.
The inability of the center to effectively pass the ball to other players, specifically the goalshooter, meant the Shamrocks were not making many goal attempts.
Perhaps it would have been better if Evering had played in the goalkeep position. She clearly seemed to be a better defensive player than offensive.
Shamrocks’ lack of scoring opportunity, allowed to Capisterre to stay close and the game ended in a disappointing draw at 25-25.