Belfast Telegraph

Bowman to the fore as NI girls edge closer to Commonwealths


By Richard Bullick

Northern Ireland took a significant step towards qualification for the Commonwealth Games next spring by beating Barbados 51-35 in Lisburn.

Lisa Bowman netted an incredible 49 times as her superb shooting ensured reward for a tremendous team effort.

The girls in green will almost certainly need to overcome the same opposition again in tomorrow evening's Quad Series final at the same venue to clinch their tickets to Gold Coast 2018.

Apart from the prospect of silverware, Northern Ireland need another win to keep their top-12 World ranking ahead of the official cut-off date of July 1.

But last night's superb performance from Elaine Rice's side should give the hosts confidence.

Northern Ireland came into last night's tie knowing they needed to win and, unsurprisingly, showed huge hunger.

Northern Ireland edged a fiercely contested first quarter 12-10 having held an early lead before Barbados got their noses in front for a while. The towering Bowman stretched her team's half-time advantage to 24-19 and, although Barbados rallied, Northern Ireland got nine of the last 11 scores of the third quarter.

Already holding a significant cushion of nine goals, they went on to take the final period 15-8 and picked up no obvious injuries ahead of tomorrow's decider.

Northern Ireland: G Gibney, N Lennon, F Toner, C O'Hanlon (capt), S Montgomery, K Bowman, L Bowman. Sub: M Drayne for Montgomery (ht).

Belfast Telegraph


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