T&T “Calypso Girls” were out for revenge last night when they came up against regional rival Barbados in their final match of the 14th edition of the International Netball Federation (INF) Americas Regional Qualifying Tournament for the INF Netball World Cup at SAIT Polytechnic, Alberta, Canada.
This after both teams won for the fifth straight time on Sunday night to improve to identical 5-0 records in the seven-team tournament. The top two teams, T&T and Barbados have already earned the two available spots to Australia ahead of the final round of matches.
Playing in their penultimate match of the tournament on Sunday, the Calypso Girls, ranked tenth in the world raced into a 24-6 lead over Grenada before coasting to an 82-31 blowout victory.
T&T also led 41-14 at the half and extended its advantage to 63-23 by the end of the third quarter before cruising through the final period.
The win for the Wesley “Pepe” Gomes-coached T&T women followed an emphatic 116-11 demolition of Argentina the night before, the largest margin of victory by the national team since it crushed Guyana 104-13 at the 2012 edition of the tournament held at the Jean Pierre Complex, Mucurapo.
Back then, the host which won the tournament in 2010 ended third after losing to eventual champions Jamaica (40-60) and runner-up Barbados (48-59) in their head-to-head meetings.
However, T&T defeated Barbados in their last two meetings, 35-33 in a Tri-Nation encounter on home soil in February and 38-37 at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland and last night, Gomes and his team was hoping for a third straight triumph.
Also on Sunday, the world ninth ranked Barbadians warmed up for their meeting with T&T by sweeping past 20th rated host Canada 62-37 after being ahead 13-5, 29-14 and 44-29 at the end of the first three quarters while Cayman Islands overcame Argentina 55-27.
In Saturday’s other two matches, Barbados defeated Grenada 76-23 and USA blasted Cayman Islands 50-19.
By qualifying to the World Cup, Gomes and his T&T team made a big step towards overcoming a disappointing showing in Glasgow, Scotland, where the former world champions won only one of six matches.
After edging out the Barbadians, T&T was then beaten by South Africa (40-56), Wales (31-50), Australia (34-69), England (24-70) and Scotland, 28-46 in their ninth placed playoff .
The teams already qualified for the World Cup to date are ten-time champions and reigning holders Australia, New Zealand, England, the top three teams in the world along with Jamaica, South Africa, Wales, Scotland, Fiji and Samoa.
T&T 116 bt Argentina 11
USA 50 bt Cayman Islands 19
Barbados 76 bt Grenada 23
T&T 82 bt Grenada 31
Barbados 62 bt Canada 37
Cayman Islands 55 bt Argentina 27