Panthers claim tournament title
Warwick Pink Panthers laid down an early marker after ending Lady Bluebirds' two-year reign as Sylvia Eastley Tournament champions at Bernard Park at the weekend.
Panthers clawed their way to the title after finishing the round robin tournament with an unblemished 5-0 record.
They virtually dethroned Lady Bluebirds as champions after prevailing against them 12-4 in their third round match played on October 19.
The tournament was spread over two weekends.
Lady Bluebirds finished runners up with a 4-1 record with Signworx Netts (3-2) rounding off the podium finishers.
Asked what was the key to her team's success, Panthers coach Debra Saltus explained: “The key to success was togetherness, everybody having the same mental goal and doing what they were told to do.
“We've also got a little more height in our defence this year so I think that certainly helps as well.”
Panthers appear to be reaping the benefits for their hard work ethic towards training.
“We're training hard and what we do in training is obviously being put into practise in the games,” added Saltus. “We're just putting our best foot forward and playing to enjoy the game really.”
Panthers, who were relegated to the second tier of the Senior Winter League last season, have bolstered their ranks with the new arrivals of defenders McKeisha Smith, Tawauna Trott and Chanae Burgess, attacker Nikita Trott and mid -court player Jadirra Harvey.
Saltus said the new additions add a good blend of youth and experience to the ranks.
“I think the combination of experience and youth makes it a well rounded team,” she added. “I think that combination is really going to help.”
The 2013-14 Senior Winter League is due to commence this weekend. But at press time the schedule had yet to be released.
There are six teams competing in the league this season compared to the ten represented during the previous campaign.
Last season's Senior Winter League champs Data Tech Netts, North Village Lady Rams, Lady Rams Too and DC Warriors all withdrew at end of last season. SS Tigers have merged with Robin Hood, who were promoted to the top tier of the league during their inaugural season, to become Robin Hood Tigers.
Bluebird Juniors are the latest addition to the league.