Netball

Clarendon Gaters register win at last

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

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Clarendon Gaters proved that it is never too late for a shower of rain as they turned in a decent all-round performance on Monday night to win their first match and with it three points in this season's Berger Elite League competition, which is run by Netball Jamaica.

What made the win — a 48-47 thriller — even sweeter was that it came against none other than the league's joint leading team, Manchester Spurs.

In the opening match of a double-header at Leila Robinson Courts, Melisha Josephs delivered the most telling blows for Dalton Hinds' Gaters, scoring 36 points from 39 attempts, while Shadian Hemmings contributed the other goals, netting 12 from 20 tries.

Prior to Monday's encounter, Clarendon Gaters had lost all six matches, two of which they found themselves deserted by luck at a crucial juncture, to end up losing by one point.

This time, they turned the table on the Spurs, who had won their first six matches, but have now lost two games on the trot, after falling to St Ann Orchids on Saturday, also by one point in a 35-34 finish.

Spurs' usually reliable shooting trio scored at a decent percentage, but their defence could not hold their end of the bargain this time as they lost and remained on 18 points.

Anna-Kay Griffiths led the Manchester outfit's shooting with a spectacular 18 goals from 19 attempts, while Giselle Allison, 15 of 20, and Nicole Dixon, 14 from 17, scored the other goals.

Also kept on 18 points were Kingston Hummingbirds, who lost 47-53 against defending champions St Ann Orchids. The victory ensured a three-way tie at the top of the standing.

The latter have now reeled off four quick wins to make their claim for title retention louder as the 10-game preliminaries move to the play-offs, which will comprise the top four teams.

Six are competing, but while the top three are certain to qualify, the fourth spot is pretty much on the line.

Simone Gordon continued to prove significant in the Orchids' late-season charge, scoring 34 of 41 attempts, while Rebekah Robinson, 16 from 20, and Thristina Harwood, three from four tries, were the St Ann team's other scorers.

Sabrina Spence, with a game-high 37 goals from 44 tries, led Kingston Hummingbirds in scoring, with Shanice Beckford, a perfect eight, and Hasana Williams, two from seven, scoring the other goals.

Action continues today with a double-header featuring St Catherine Racers and Clarendon Gaters at 6:00 pm and Manchester Spurs vs St James Sharpes at 7:30 pm. The Racers have nine points from eight matches, Sharpes six points from seven and Gaters three points from seven. All three have a chance of making the play-offs.

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