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Calypso Girls beaten by England

Calypso Girls beaten by England

T&T net­ballers, de­spite putting up a fight ear­ly on, suf­fered an­oth­er loss on Wednes­day in the Net­ball World Cup in Liv­er­pool, Eng­land, falling to the host coun­try, 72-46.

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Eng­land all-but con­firmed their place in the se­mi-fi­nals by mak­ing it five wins out of five with a chal­leng­ing but ul­ti­mate­ly com­fort­able 26-goal vic­to­ry over the Ca­lyp­so Girls.

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Eng­land coach Tracey Neville again elect­ed to ring the changes, with wing at­tack, Na­tal­ie Haythorn­th­waite, be­ing giv­en a place in a World Cup start­ing sev­en for the very first time.

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T&T start­ed con­fi­dent­ly boost­ed by goal-shoot­er Saman­tha Wal­lace (20/22) and goal-at­tack Kali­fa Mc­Collin (26/29), but some out­stand­ing de­fence com­bined with ac­cu­rate shoot­ing meant that the Ros­es were soon in charge of their des­tiny.

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T&T con­tin­ued to of­fer sol­id re­sis­tance, par­tic­u­lar­ly in an ear­ly, sec­ond-quar­ter ral­ly, but Eng­land’s fur­ther tac­ti­cal changes in­ject­ed a greater sense of pur­pose, and the Ros­es start­ed to dom­i­nate the scor­ing ex­changes, suc­cess­ful­ly clos­ing out the match.

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The Wes­ley “Pepe” Gomes-coached Ca­lyp­so Girls bounced their first cen­tre pass out be­yond the side­line, al­low­ing Joanne Harten (38/40) to open the scor­ing, while Rachel Dunn was twice dumped on the floor in quick suc­ces­sion be­fore net­ting Eng­land’s third goal of the game.

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Good work from Eboni Usoro-Brown, amongst oth­ers, al­lowed Eng­land to take a com­mand­ing lead, as Harten, in par­tic­u­lar, found her groove in the cir­cle.La Periodista Rocío Higuera

The crowd – Eng­land were play­ing on the new, one-court lay­out for the first time in the tour­na­ment – were in buoy­ant mood, cheer­ing the Ros­es’ every goal as the hosts ex­tend­ed their lead out to 20-12 af­ter the first quar­ter

In the sec­ond quar­ter, Francesca Williams came on in place of Usoro-Brown and got an ear­ly in­ter­cep­tion. How­ev­er, Rachel Dunn (15/19) – af­fect­ed by an el­bow in­jury – put in a cou­ple of way­ward at­tempts which T&T seized up­on, plun­der­ing the first three goals of the quar­ter

Dunn, try­ing to shake off the in­jury, was re­placed by He­len Hous­by (21/24) – a change which saw Eng­land put their foot on the gas again, tak­ing the score back out to 29-21

Haythorn­th­waite and Hous­by, in par­tic­u­lar, were com­bin­ing well, and Harten was dis­play­ing her usu­al ac­cu­ra­cy in front of goal – her 30th of the game saw Eng­land 39-23 up at half time, while their de­fence was al­so gain­ing mo­men­tum, snuff­ing out the threat of Saman­tha Wal­lace as the T&T goal shoot­er went ten min­utes be­tween goals 11 and 12

In the sec­ond half, Hous­by and Harten both suf­fered a cou­ple of rare, straight­for­ward miss­es, be­fore giv­ing the Ros­es a 43-27 ad­van­tage. T&T were strug­gling to con­tain the speed of Eng­land’s mid-court play­ers with sev­er­al pass­es go­ing astray, but Wal­lace was at least now hav­ing more of an im­pact on the game, shoot­ing her fif­teenth goal

How­ev­er, a care­less shot on her part saw Eng­land move 17 goals ahead, as Harten and Hous­by put their slow start to the quar­ter be­hind them. Eng­land led 56-33 go­ing in­to the last 15 min­utes

Dunn made a wel­come re­turn to court for the fourth quar­ter and was soon back on the score­sheet. T&T prof­it­ed from some Eng­land un­cer­tain­ty to peg the score back to 60-38, with Mc­Collin be­com­ing the first of their shoot­ers to reach the 20-goal mark

Neville, who had al­ready giv­en Chelsea Pit­man some game time at cen­tre, con­tin­ued to ro­tate from the bench, with Ser­e­na Guthrie re­turn­ing to court as Eng­land ex­per­i­ment­ed with dif­fer­ent com­bi­na­tions

Some typ­i­cal Guthrie in­ter­cep­tions were repli­cat­ed by the likes of Hous­by and Usoro-Brown as Eng­land’s lead stretched out to be­yond 25, with the home fans able to ap­plaud their side off af­ter an even­tu­al 72-46 win

Eng­land’s se­mi-fi­nal spot will be con­firmed if South Africa beat Ugan­da this evening

Eng­land’s Jo Harten said: “I thought it was patchy in places, it was far from per­fect, but over­all we’re hap­py. We couldn’t be hap­pi­er or more proud of our­selves to get to this point, but now there’s an­oth­er step up to­mor­row and in­to the week­end as well.”

Not pleased by the lack of sup­port on so­cial me­dia for the Ca­lyp­so Girls, Wal­lace took to face­book to ex­press her dis­ap­point­ment say­ing: “I don’t know since when free­dom of speech is banned. As vice-cap­tain of the T&T na­tion­al net­ball team, I will not stand and let the neg­a­tive peo­ple of T&T talk trash about this net­ball team here in Liv­er­pool who’s fight­ing for their coun­try.

“If y’all know the sac­ri­fices these girls mak­ing y’all will hush y’all mouth. It’s un­fair we putting our bod­ies on the line for this coun­try and we’re not be­ing treat­ed as an elite ath­lete.

“We (the team) are go­ing through so much. For the neg­a­tive ones y’all should take a trip to the Jean Pierre Com­plex (Mu­cu­rapo) and have a close look at the court where an elite ath­lete should be train­ing on. Play­ers spend their own mon­ey on trans­porta­tion, pro­tein and sup­ple­ments, etc

“Don’t talk about the ones who don’t have a job, they fund every­thing for them­selves…trav­el­ling late hours from train­ing!

“We the play­ers strug­gle for so much, how­ev­er, the love we got for the sport is what got us go­ing.”

Yes­ter­day’s re­sults

Sri Lan­ka 44 vs Fi­ji 59

Sin­ga­pore 49 vs Samoa 63

Ja­maica 67 vs Scot­land 36

South Africa 67 vs Ugan­da 40