Wales in possession during the Netball World Youth Cup in Botswana. Pic: BenDan photography.
Wales 47, Barbados 44
Wales earned a stunning victory at the Netball World Youth Cup, beating Barbados in an astonishing play-off clash.
Caribbean team Barbados led 40-37 deep into the final quarter, but the Welsh players fought back in a physical match to grab the win at the Ditshupo Hall, Gaborone in Botswana.
It was a huge team effort from Wales in a dramatic match on day seven of the tournament.
Victory has put Wales into the 13th-16th place play-offs and they will face Northern Ireland or Trinidad and Tobago tomorrow (Saturday).
The thrilling final quarter seemed to last far longer than 15 minutes and there was a super-charged atmosphere in a fiercely contested finish.
Barbados had edged ahead, by one goal, going into that session, but Wales responded with intensity, character and team spirit.
Wales set out with a starting seven comprising: GS Jenkins, GA Llewelyn, WA Johnson, C Dyke, WD Powell, GD Thomas, GK Walker-Jones.
They led 12-10 going into the second and while Barbados hit back and made it 18-18, Wales finished strongly to lead 24-21 at half-time.
Fern Davies went on at WD and Meg Powell at GD.
Wales extended that advantage to 30-23, but Barbados stormed back to lead 35-34 going into the fourth quarter.
There were more changes with Chloe James on at GS and Sarah Llewelyn GA, while Chloe Dyke operated at WA and Celyn Emanuel played Centre.
Barbados were in front at 40-37, but Wales would not relent and recovered again to move 45-41 ahead. This time they saw out the match to earn a memorable victory.
Welsh players celebrated their win and there was another moment to enjoy with Alison Davies appointed to take charge of the New Zealand v Fiji semi-final.
Physical education teacher Davies, from Fforestfach, is among eight umpires from across the World on the International Talent Identified Umpire (ITID) list.
Her focus is on achieving International Umpire Award status. There are only 36 in the World and Davies hopes to become one of them.
This Netball World Youth Cup is adding to her wealth of experience.
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