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Fire Service out shoots Police 29-27 in ASNL
If Saturday's meeting between Fire Service and Police Youth Club (PYC) was a prelude to the final of the Premiership Division knockout competition set for today at the Centre of Excellence in Macoya then spectators can expect a treat in the Courts All Sectors Netball League.
The two teams battled in the semi-final of the Steve Sargeant Challenge (SSC) at the Maloney Indoor Sports Arena and it was Fire progressing to the title match after sealing a narrow 29-27 win in an intense affair.
Fire called on goal-shooter Jameela McCarthy to come good and responded well shooting with 84 per cent accuracy under heavy defence from PYC goal-keeper Kemba Duncan and at times double-teamed by goal-defence Janeisha Cassimy. McCarthy was made to work for every one of her 26 goals from 31 attempts in getting her team to the final against the University of T&T (UTT) which won the other semi-final.
Her goal-attack Simone Morgan performed efficiently as the goal-attack, feeding her goal-shooter while contributing to the score, connecting three of her four tries.
Down on the other end, PYC goal-shooter Tahirah Hollingsworth (8/14) and goal-attack Joelisa Cooper (19/21) were under as much pressure from goal-keeper Fiona Holder and goal-defence Onella Jack, as they tried to match their opposing shooters. They did achieved this so much so that the scores were tied 13-13 at half-time to the delight of the crowd gathered that included mostly players from the teams that competed earlier in the Championship Division double-elimination knockout competition.
Fire though stepped up its play at both ends of the court to start the next session and though Garbrel Selmon joined the party late her presence as the goal-keeper was felt immediately with support fro Jack and Holder, who was shifted to wing-defence as halfway through the second half the firewomen had tallied its biggest lead of the match, 25-17.
PYC did not stay down for long and rallied back, pulling within five (25-20) with 7.37 left in the match-up then lessening its deficit to three reaching 22 while holding Fire to 25 with 5.17 on the clock.
Fire too went on a run and put up three quick goals to move away by four (28-24) heading into the final two minutes of the match.
With goals from Cooper, the national senior captain, PYC answered back its challengers and came within two goals (29-27) with 5.1 seconds left but time ran out before either team could add to their scores.
Fire meets UTT in the SSC final carded for March 26 at the Maloney venue. UTT easily defeated the University of West Indies (UWI) 40-22.
Earlier in the Championship knockout competition, the reigning Jean Pierre Challenge champion the Unit Trust Corporation (UTC) and Bermudez played unbeaten to emerge out of the winners' bracket to play for a spot in the final.
UTC beat Police by default in the first round and then topped Defence Force, 13-10 in the quarterfinals while Bermudez defeated Las Lomas by default and TSTT 23-10 respectively to advance.
Coming out of the losers' bracket were Jabloteh, who had fallen to TSTT, 22-17, in the opening round and Police. Jabloteh rebounded to beat La Lomas (21-13) to reach the semifinals. Police booked its spot after topping Fire, 21-15.
The semifinals and the final are set for Saturday at Maloney from 1.45 pm following the same knockout competition for teams in the Alternative Division.
PYC 27 (Tahirah Hollingsworth 8/14, Joelisa Cooper 19/21) vs Fire 29 (Jameela McCarthy 26/31, Simone Morgan 3/4).
UTT 40 (Anastascia Wilson 16/22, Aquila Blugh 15/26, Kernisha Greenidge 9/13) vs UWI 22 (Daystar Swift 19/22, Zakiya McKenna 3/7, Nicola Solomon 0/3).
Bermudez vs Harlem, 5.30 pm
Les Enfants vs TSTT, 6.20 pm
PYC vs Fire, 7.15 pm
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