Saint Lucia has opened the 2015 Jean Pierre Caribbean Youth Netball Under-16 Tournament a lot better than they did in 2014.
The 2011 champions, Saint Lucia were last in last year’s competition. This year, as hosts, they will have to hold off the challenge of 2014 runners-up Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica and Bermuda.
The opening game against Bermuda resulted in a 30-15 win for Saint Lucia, before an appreciative crowd that included parents, community members, well-wishers and friends of netball. Up 14-9 at halftime, the Saint Lucians turned on the style in the second half. Kamala Mangal and Megan Nestor looking especially impressive.
Grenada defeated Trinidad and Tobago 23-17 in the other early match.
Barbados last year finished second to Jamaica, themselves absent this year. The Barbadians played the late game, against Dominica, and after dominating early (leading 9-3 and 14-7) they were reigned in by the girls from the Nature Isle. Dominica were down 15-16 after three quarters, but eventually succumbed 18-23.
Action continues on Sunday at the Vigie Sports Complex. Despite sporadic rainfall on Saturday, all three games were completed, and one can but hope that the weather will permit a conclusion on Sunday evening, given that the Beausejour Gymnasium is in use.