Excellent second and fourth quarters made the difference for the Thistles, as they ran out 53-42 winners to improve upon their 12th-place finish in 2015.
It was Scotland who made the most positive start, with a couple of excellent interventions from Claire Maxwell helping them to build an early 6-2 lead.
The Scottish shooters were working well together, although a foul called against goal attack Lynsey Gallagher allowed Barbados to turn possession over and fight back, bringing the deficit back to one at 8-7.
Latonia Blackman registered the first miss of the game, for either side, midway through the quarter, although an ongoing feature of the opening period was Shonica Wharton’s ability to gather and convert the rebound when her shooting partner was off target.
There were no such problems in the opposite circle, as Gallagher and Emma Barrie continued to shoot at 100% throughout the quarter. This, along with some fantastic movement from Gallagher, saw the lead extend out to three again at one point, but Barbados again closed the gap, and could have been back within one had they not been penalised for held ball in the final seconds of the quarter. That mistake allowed Scotland some breathing space at quarter time; 15-13 ahead.
That breathing space was made far more comfortable as the Scots made a blistering start to the second quarter. They added the first five goals of the quarter to take their lead out to 20-13, before Barrie registered the Thistles’ first miss of the game.
That miss ironically turned out to be more damaging for Barbados though, as inspirational goal keeper Shonette Azure-Bruce appeared to turn her ankle as she landed after claiming the rebound.
Scotland took advantage and kept up their momentum, stretching the lead out to 26-17.
A wonderful interception from Sarah McPhail gave Barrie the chance to take that lead out to ten, but she was unsuccessful on this occasion. A few moments later though, with the aid of a rebound off the post, she did convert, and Scotland were 27-17 up.
Barbados’ problems continued to mount, as Damisha Croney also limped off. They were able to close the gap slightly as the quarter wore on though, ending it 29-22 behind after a long pass found its target in Wharton, who made no mistake from under the post.
The second half began with the welcome sight of Azure-Bruce returning to the court. However, the start of the third quarter was error-strewn, with Barrie guilty of a couple of misses in quick succession as both teams failed to find their rhythm.
Barbados found their feet first, and started to bring the margin down. Real momentum was behind them when Tonisha Rock-Yaw produced a wonderful interception as they looked to get back within two, but Wharton was then penalised.
Scotland were able to get more of a grip on the quarter after that, extending the lead back out, despite mistakes again creeping in on both sides. During one particular period of the quarter, possession was changing hands on a regular basis as both teams struggled again, although the Scots did finish the quarter well, netting the last two goals to take a 39-33 lead into the fourth.
With what was their last throw of the dice, Barbados made a fast start to the last quarter, with Wharton moving them back to within three at 39-36. With a potential comeback looming, a composed shot from Gallagher and a great piece of defensive work by Emily Nicholl halted their momentum though, and Scotland seized back the initiative.
The didn’t look back from then, eventually easing to a fourth quarter and overall victory as both Barrie and Gallagher scored seven each to take the final score up to 53-42.