Netball: Barbados win nailbiter

Goalkeep Lisa Puckerin's last-minute intercept prolonged Singapore's agony and staved off the prospect of overtime at the world championships for the first time as Barbados clung on for a 44-43 victory in Auckland today.

Puckerin atoned for being caught out of position moments earlier when a turnover was translated into a huge lobbed pass to an unguarded Huiyen Tan by the post.

The goalshoot found the net to narrow the margin to one on the back court at Trusts Stadium but when Singapore were forced to employ the same tactic as Barbados cutting down their space from the centre pass, an airborne Puckerin made no mistake.

Puckerin's intervention ended winless Singapore's second stirring comeback of the contest to help determine places 9-16.

Barbardos, who found themselves on the wrong end of an identical scoreline against Botswana yesterday, seemed in little difficulty from the outset against the under-sized Asian champions as they built a 15-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.

However, Singapore, coached by New Zealander Kate Carpenter, constructed a bustling response in the term with the game deadlocked at 23-23 at the main break.

Barbados reasserted their dominance in the penultimate quarter, carrying a 36-30 advantage into the run home before Singapore crawled off the canvas a second time.

Having already been dwarfed by Fiji, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and to a lesser extent the Cook Islands, Singapore finally encountered opponents on a relatively level playing field - though Laurel Browne, the West Indians' only aerial asset at 1.89-metres, played a pivotal role.

Not the most mobile goalshoot on display, Browne was still an obvious target for the long ball and her return of 20 goals from 21 attempts over three quarters of action were sufficient to condemn Singapore to a fifth straight loss.

They play either Scotland or Malaysia tomorrow to avoid the wooden spoon. Barbados face the winner of that game to determine 13th and 14th.

- NZPA


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