Chavez Belboda and Jermaine Francis led St. Kitts and Nevis’ first at the first In­ter­na­tion­al Hand­ball Fed­er­a­tion’s Men’s North Amer­i­can and the Caribbean Emerg­ing Na­tions Cham­pi­onship, de­feat­ing Barbados in their final match of the Tournament. Chavez Belboda and Jermaine Francis scored 10 goals out of 16 at­tempts and 17 respectively as the team bested their opponents 38 – 26.

This victory put them above Barbados, who have not won a match this tournament. It was a neck and neck battle throughout the first half. Barbados took the lead early maintaining a 3 point lead  for the first half of the 30 minutes. St. Kitts and Nevis were at their heals, never allowing them to lead by more than three goals. At 17 minutes in, with a score of 7-8 Barbados, Raniq Nicholls intercepted Barbados’ to pass to the left wing that sparked a fast break assist to Kadeem Govia for the tie. 

St. Kitts and Nevis quickly took the lead by one, turning the tables on Barbados who were now struggling to catch up. The ended the half a score of 15-12, St. Kitts and Nevis. Barbados would now have to struggle to minimize their deficit. 

Coming into the second half, St. Kitts and Nevis maintained their lead and further widened the gap. 

Clifford Samual flies through pass the 6m line at a goal attempt. Rebounded by Vquan Thomas for the goal.

The lead supporting scorers, Raniq Nichollas (5/7), Clifford Samuel (3/6), Kadeem Fovia (3/5), Vquan Thomas (2/3), Travaughn Hodge 1/6), Jahnyah Gumbs (1/3), Rashidi Rogers (1/3), Talbert Warner (1/2), Jonathon Francis (1/1), insured Barbados’ peaked at 11 goals. 

This tournament was the first for most of the players on the St. Kitts and Nevis National Handball Team the coach included. 

Coach L. A. Isiah Morris, a veteran Football coach who fell in love with Handball, lending his experience and knowledge to the new territory that is Team Handball, he had this to say:

COACH MORRIS: As coach and being my first tournament I think that the team started very shakily… and it affected their play throughout the tournament. Looking back at games played I do believe that we were only out played by the host and it is the number of unforced errors that cost us the games that we lost.”

#SKNHANDBALL: In relation to the unforced errors and being new to the sport, for you as well as many of your players, how did you find the rules difficult to grasp?

COACH MORRIS: I must admit the rules of the game coupled with some very harsh calls issued to my team that coming out of this tournament has put me as well as players who have played for the first time in a better position both in the knowledge department as well as being keenly abreast of the do and don’ts.

#SKNHANDBALL: How was this final match different from the previous matches? 

COACH MORRIS: The team during the last game approached it in a positive manner where they didn’t want to return to home soils without a win under their belts. This time around they stuck to the game plan and limited the number of turnovers as well as encouraging each other on the field of play. I think that this tournament is a step in the right direction for handball in the federation as we continue to grow in the sport and become a force to be reckon with in the region.

The next scheduled tournament is in Trinidad and Tobago, Male and Female Beach Handball Tournament. 

-Nathaniel IBLE for #sknhandball