THE TT netballers, ranked tenth in the world, battled to a draw against seventh ranked Scotland, in their final match, in Group C of the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, England, earlier today.
After suffering a heavy 72-46 to third ranked England yesterday, TT and Scotland played to a 43-43 draw.
After the match TT coach Wesley Gomes said, “I am fine, just excited and happy.”
Gomes said he was glad his team qualified for the ninth place playoff.
“It was amazing, I did not know what to think I was just thinking about the last World Cup, the same kind of scenarios. I remembered if we drew we had a better goal difference, so we should qualify for the ninth and tenth (playoff) so that relaxed me a little bit.”
Gomes said his team showed fight saying, “The girls showed a lot of pride and 1.3 million people must be so happy home.”
TT goal shoot Samantha Wallace, asked if fitness is taking a toll on the team after playing six games in seven days, said, “Definitely, especially when I(am) moving a lot as a goal shooter. It will take a lot from me, but nevertheless I am proud of the girls and I just want them to lift their heads.”
Wallace said TT could have reduced the mistakes. “We had so many opportunities to take that lead and just silly mistakes, silly errors cost us this draw, but we are going to take so much positives out of this game and get rid of the negatives.”
The teams matched each other stride for stride for the entire match. After the first quarter, Scotland held an 11-9 lead and it continued to be little separation as the Scotland led 22-21 at halftime.
TT won the third quarter 13-12 as the teams were locked 34-34 heading into the last quarter. In a low scoring final quarter, both teams scored nine goals as the match ended in a 43-43 draw. Goal shoot Samantha Wallace continued her excellent form converting 29 out of 30 attempts and goal attack Kalifa McCollin finished 14 out of 17. For Scotland, goal attack Lynsey Gallagher scored 23 goals from 25 attempts and Emma Barrie converted 17 from 21.
In a game which saw the lead change hands on multiple occasions, Scotland had to fight back as the clocked ticked down, with Gallagher eventually netting with the final action of the game to secure the draw.
The result represents the first time that Scotland have avoided defeat in a World Cup clash with TT, and Gallagher was delighted to be able to end that particular hoodoo.
In a story on the 2019 World Cup Netball website Gallagher said, “
“That’s one of our team characteristics I would say – we fight to the final whistle and we never give up. In the past few years we’ve really shown that. It’s just unfortunate we weren’t able to finish it off at the end.”
Gallagher admitted the game entered a scrappy phase, as both teams were affected by nerves in the closing stages, but believes the errors Scotland made can be put right.
“They’re things that can be easily fixed. We need to execute our game plan and put in a solid performance, with those final touches included. It’s just about having a calm head and executing that game plan, and being consistent over 60 minutes.”
TT will play Northern Ireland in the ninth place playoff in their final game of the tournament at 2.15 pm TT time, tomorrow.