UNIVERSITY of TT (UTT) goal-shoot Aquila Blugh scored a scorching 30 goals from 41 attempts as she led the team to a narrow 42-37 victory over Las Lomas Academy in the first Premiership Division match of the Courts All Sectors Netball League season on Saturday.
Both the Premiership and Championship Division opened with round one at the Eastern Regional Indoor Sports Arena, Tacarigua – exactly one week after the league was launched with an opening-day knock-out competition.
UTC took an early lead in the standings, thanks to Blugh’s stand-out performance. She got help from one of the team’s male players, goal-attack Jason Noray, who was the second leading scorer with 11 goals from 20 attempts.
The male presence on the court is a new feature of the league. Each team this season will be allowed to field a maximum of two male players at a time on the court.
The only other player to score for UTC was Ayanna Peters who got only goal in six attempts.
Las Lomas, while on the losing end, saw the highest individual tally in all of the four divisions, produced by one of their players. Goal-attack Keon Russell, a member of TT’s men’s netball team, scored an insurmountable 33 goals from 50 attempts.
The second Premiership Division match was a nail-biter as both team exchanged slender advantages throughout the contest, and were even dead even at 16-16 by the half, before Police Youth Club (PYC) walked away with a 32-20 victory over their comrades, Police.
Tahira Hollingsworth led for PYC with 21/ 37, while her team-mate Fabrice Fisher, who is more widely known as a basketball player, was nearly perfect with 11/12.
The third and last Premiership Division fixture was a more one-sided affair with the defending champions Fire breezing past Defence Force 42-20. Yet another national men’s netball player, goal-shoot Ronald Phipps stole the spotlight when he scored 29/36, albeit with handy assistance from Ornella Jack, who followed on 13/19.
Two other matches kicked off the Championship Division, starting with Jabloteh’s narrow 38-36 win over debutants Miscellaneous Laventille.
The Laventille team trailed for most of the encounter until the end of the third by which time they held a 30-27 lead. Jabloteh, however, returned to the court with intent and went on to outscore their opponents 11-6.
For Jabloteh, Samantha James-Lewis led with 15/28, while Miscellaneous Laventille was well represented by goal-shoot Reeka Seeratan, who top scored for either team with 24/29.
The second Championship Division encounter saw TSTT brush off Defence Force 38-18. Both of TSTT’s scorers Kamila Sobers and Kanika Paul Payne scored 19 goals but from 31 and 25 attempts, respectively.
Action will resume today with round two in the Retro Division.
Les Enfants, who defeated Jabloteh 31-29 in round one last Monday, will meet TSTT, at the Eastern Regional Indoor Sports Arena, from 5.30 pm, before Police, 21-16 winners over TSTT, take on Police from 6.20 pm.
Las Lomas Academy 37 vs UTC 42
Police 30 vs PYC 32
Defence Force 20 vs Fire 42
Jabloteh 38 vs Miscellaneous Laventille 36
Defence Force 18 vs TSTT 38