JAMALCO and Blades United 'A' emerged winners of the 2012-2013 Jamaica National Building Association (JNBS)/Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) Sunshine 'Elite' and 'B' Group Sunshine Open League netball titles, respectively, at the Leila Robinson Courts last Saturday.
The Winston Nevers-coached Clarendon-based Jamalco aggregation, which was the defending champions, was also capturing their third consecutive hold on the title, and also their eighth triumph overall. They defeated arch-rivals, the Sylvester 'Chris' Campbell-coached Tivoli 'A' 32-26.
Meanwhile, Blades 'A', coached by Rowan Byfield, got the better of the C Lloyd Walker-coached Jetsetters 'A' 22-15 for their first-ever Open League title.
The 'Elite' Group final between defending champions Jamalco and Tivoli 'A' provided the large turn-out of spectators cheering from start to finish. After the two were tied at 2-2 in the early exchanges, it was Tivoli 'A' who looked the better team as they raced to a 7-4 lead through the shooting of Sabrina Spence with the first quarter ending 7-5 for the losers. A keen battle ensued from then onwards between the teams with the scores locked three more times until Jamalco went into the half-time break with a narrow 15-14 lead.
With the introduction of Naudia Brown at the wing-attack position for Jamalco, the reigning champions began to get the better of their opponents and they eventually led 25-20 after the third quarter.
For Jamalco, goal-shooter Elaine Davis netted 24 goals from 29 attempts and goal-attack Marsha Murphy-Dawkins had eight goals from as many efforts, while for Tivoli 'A', goal-attack Sabrina Spence scored 20 goals from 26 attempts, and goal-shooter Jodi-ann Ffrench-Kentish scored six goals from eight efforts.
Naudia Brown from Jamalco was named the most valuable player in the 'Elite' Group final.
Meanwhile, in the 'B' Group final, Blades United 'A' led 6-5 at the end of the first quarter before Jetsetters 'A' drew level at 6-6 and 8-8 during the second quarter. However, Blades 'A' took the half-time break with a 11-9 lead.
Blades 'A' took control of the third quarter and moved further in front at 17-12 at the final break before adding a further five goals in the fourth and final quarter to Jetsetters' three goals to come out victorious 22-15.
Goal-shooter Kayann Cousins scored 12 goals from 17 attempts for Blades 'A', while goal-attack Annette Miller scored nine goals from 12 attempts for Jetsetters 'A'. Cousins was named the most valuable player of the 'B' Group final.