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BARBADOS - volleyball - Deacons looking to finish it

Date March 12, 2006 by Kenmore Bynoe Compliments of the Nation News

DO NOT BE SURPRISED if Deacons' gear bags are extra heavy with some bottles of champagne when the club heads to the gym of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex for Game 2 of the Co-operators General Insurance Knockout finals tonight.

Kings RBTT Deacons will be looking to inflict another drubbing on Progressive to clinch the title for the 13th time, while league queens Consumers Guarantee Insurance Deacons will want to repeat their Game 1 straight sets whipping of Ambi Toners to capture the crown for the fifth time.

The women's game will serve off at 6 p.m. while the men will battle at 8 p.m. The form of George Skeete, Andy Jordan, Kenwin Inniss, Jamaal Nedd, Daran Gill and Barbados captain Elwyn Oxley against the inconsistency of Progressive suggest that the men's battle will end tonight.

Inconsistency could also be the factor in deciding if Deacons' women could finish their fight in two matches. A stepped-up effort from Toners might not be enough if Valmay Stapleton can once again extract a consistent performance from Julia Lewis, Fabia Greaves and Shakira Bridgeman.

Talented bunch

Toners boast too talented a bunch to just roll over after playing unbeaten throughout the preliminaries.

However, Game 1 showed that Deacons had trained specifically to counter Toners' offence and defence. If Toners can adjust their game and Deacons do not stick to their game plan, then we can have a Game 3 in the women's finals.

The form of setter Shennel Beckles and an injury to middle player Janelle Chase also pose problems for Toners with the inconsistency of Gazelda Knight, Venessa Woods-Straughn, Talya Layne and Carla Nicholls, leaving the less potent Angelina Smith struggling to score against Deacons.

Toners have also been outplayed off the court with both teams boasting deep benches, but with Deacons rotating their players with greater skill and effect. While Lauren Whitehall and Nadia Griffith can be counted on to sub and perform for Deacons, Toners have not done likewise as they were never under pressure during the earlier part of the season.

The greatest pressure will be exerted this evening as the chance for another local volleyball title will be at stake in the all-important Game 2 match at 6 p.m.


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