DEFENDING Inter-collegiate senior netball champions, the University of West Indies (UWI), suffered their first defeat in two years in the competition, losing 48-81 to G.C. Foster in a top-of-the-table Group A encounter at UWI on Thursday.
As a result, the St Catherine-based team - led by national player Nicole Aiken-Pinnock - remains the only unbeaten team in Inter-collegiate netball this season.
The G.C. Foster College team, which won the Open Rally, came out very determined against their opponent and with former national Under-21 players goal shooter Shantal Slater and goal attack Deneen Taylor bang on target, they raced to a quick 4-1 lead.
The home team replied quickly with Rebekah Robinson, an accurate goal shooter, finding the target to put UWI on level terms at 4-4. For the remainder of the quarter, it was close going and the home team held a 12-10 lead at the break.
Scoring was almost even and kept the match close throughout the second stanza, as the experienced former national captain Nadine Bryan, at centre for UWI, was combined well with wing attack Vanessa Jones to put pressure on their opponents.
Only two points separated the team at the end, with G.C. Foster leading 23-21 at half-time.
uwi hang on
Despite the lanky Slater and Taylor having height advantage, good defensive plays by goal defence Samantha Francis and goalkeeper Sherece Smith, along with the accuracy of goal shooter Robinson, kept UWI in the game as G.C. Foster continued to hold the lead, 35-33, after three quarters.
On the resumption, G.C. Foster looked fitter and assumed control with seven unanswered goals as Slater and Taylor found the net quite easily.
The UWI team fought back gallantly to move within three points, but errors crept into their game and they begun to turn over the ball, which saw G.C. Foster capitalising and making a final surge to score a comfortable victory in the end.
The match was preceded by a contest between the University of Technology (UTech) and G.C. Foster College B. With outstanding plays from national senior representatives goal attack Shanice Beckford and Khadijah Williams at centre, along with former national senior player, goal defender Althea Byfield, UTech proved to be much better in the Group A match and held quarterly leads of 12-5, 19-9, 27-14 on the way to an easy 37-21 victory.