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ATL face champions Scotiabank 'A' in Open League final

Saturday, July 29, 2017

APPLIANCE Traders Limited (ATL) and defending champions Scotiabank 'A' will be in a keenly contested battle in the 2017 Business House Netball Association (BHNA) Open League final this evening at the Leila Robinson Courts, beginning at 7:15 pm.

Both teams reached today's final when they secured close semi-final wins over Ministry of Education (MOE) 'A' and National Housing Trust (NHT) 'A'.

The final also promises to be another closely contested duel based on both team's last two performances, where they had to fight very hard for narrow victories.

Coached by former national representative Sasha-Gaye Henry, ATL will be hunting their first title against today's opponents, who have carried off the trophy multiple times.

Meanwhile, Shian Gonzales, ATL captain, said she is very excited and happy about reaching the final, and expects a very closely contested encounter against the defending champions.

“I know fully well that Scotiabank 'A' is a more experienced team than us and play a fast-attacking game... they have included national representative Althea Byfield to strengthen their defence, but we will be well prepared for them,” she said.

Gonzales said the team's strategy in the main will be to try and control the pace of the game.

“We will also try to get on even terms with their centre court players, who are very good, and score our opportunities provided for our shooters. I expect Sherika Dixon, who has been playing very well at centre, to hold her own along with Conique Moore and Natsaha Williamson, while defenders Kaneila Riley and Monique Emry are capable of intercepting attacking plays and passes inside their shooting circle,” said Gonzales.

Meanwhile, Scotiabank 'A' coach Winston Nevers said he expects a comptetive match.

“This game definitely promises to be an exciting duel as both teams are evenly matched, especially in centre court and defence plays; but the shooters should turn out to be very important for a win,” Nevers said.

He added that his players will have to stop ATL's attacking passes from reaching their shooters inside the circle, as they have two very dangerous and good shooters, both of whom are capable of shooting from a distance.

“Our plan, however, at training is to concentrate more and make the right decision as the game progresses. However, the team producing the least number of mistakes or turnovers should come out the winner, and I would love Scotiabank 'A' to be the team,” Nevers noted.

Much is expected from shooters Tennisha Bernard and Shadian Hemmings, while the trio of Nicole Farquharson, Patricia McCalla and Shiann Lambert are charged with dominating centre court.

Meanwhile, the other matches scheduled are, National Commercial Bank vs Bank of Jamaica in the third-place play-off match at 4:00 pm, while MOE 'A' meet National Housing Trust NHT 'A' in the Open League consolation match at 4:45 pm.

— Gerald Reid