Hummingbirds await Racers in Berger Elite

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

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Kingston Hummingbirds will be counting on their steely reserve to get the better of St Catherine Racers when both teams meet at 6:00 pm in Netball Jamaica's Berger Elite League today at the Leila Robinson Courts, National Stadium complex.

The match is the first of a double-header, with St James Sharpes and Manchester Spurs scheduled for the closing matchup at 7:30 pm.

Of course, there is the threat of rain, which forced a postponement of Saturday's double-header at the same venue.

In their first and only match, the Hummingbirds put in a strong performance to blow out defending champions St Ann Orchids, 47-34.

For parts of that contest the Orchids made several threats to rally, but on each occasion the Hummingbirds found an extra gear.

“The fact that they maintained their composure throughout, even when the other team made a comeback; and they work together as a unit, even though they're coming from different teams, different backgrounds,” were key factors highlighted by Head Coach Marvette Anderson.

Shooters Shanice Beckford and Sabrina Spence led that win with high-percentage shooting, and they will again head their team's hunt for victory with Paula Thompson, Sasha Lee Wallen and Hasana Williams among others providing relevant support across the court.

St Catherine Racers have played two matches, defeating Clarendon Gaters (39-38) by one point, and rebounding from a four-point loss against St Ann Orchids (37-41).

Their Assistant Coach Natacia Nembhard pointed to the fact that the Gaters only retained three players from last year's squad and are in the process of sorting the right combinations.

“For the first game we were trying to put the combinations together,” she assessed.

“For the game that we won, because we're trying different combinations in the shooting area I guess we lost a bit of momentum, as we had a good lead,” she observed.

She noted that they need to improve offensively as “we lost most of our balls in the attacking area”.

Anderson watched their matches and said her team will be looking to assert itself early.

“They were in two close games,” Anderson said. “I'm cognisant of the fact that they're a good team and we've got to go out there and take charge from the first whistle.”

The Hummingbirds coach added: “We're not taking anything for granted. All the teams are balanced so on any given day all the teams can win. But we're going out there to do our best.”

Having got it right the second time, the Racers will also be looking to extend their winning sequence.

“We've played two games so far so we've seen most of the team's potential and the different combinations and how they work. We're still working at it and we'll see how we can make a better adjustment for tomorrow's game,” noted Nembhard.




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