NHT, JN Bank, RJR All Stars triumph at 2017 Florida Netball Classic

Saturday, November 25, 2017

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Jamaican teams once again dominated the 2017 Florida Netball Association Classic Tournament.

National Housing Trust (NHT) turned the tables on defending champions Scotiabank to win 13-9 in the championship final for their first Florida Netball title on Sunday, at the Coral Springs Gymnasium in Florida.

Defending champions Scotiabank, who had defeated NHT a week ago in Kingston in the Business House final and were going for thier eighth title, knew that they would be hard-pressed to retain their Florida title as the NHT team were strengthened with national player Vangalee Williams and former national player, Sade Ffrench.

Ministry of Education (MOE) lost to NHT 13-17 in their semi-final match, while last year's beaten finalist Upsetters of Florida were defeated by Scotiabank 17-8 in a one-sided affair in the other semi-final.

MOE defeated Upsetters 13-7 to place third. In the final, the Christopher Smart-coached NHT started well and led Scotiabank 2-0, but the bankers fought back and at half-time the score was tied at 7-7. The second half was all NHT, as they held Scotiabank to only two goals.

The NHT defence was very tight and Kerry Ann Brown, Vangalee Williams, Abbeygail Linton, and Trishana Hanson kept the Scotiabank attackers at bay. On many occasions Patricia McCalla, Shann Lambert, Nicole Farquharson-Henry, Shadian Hemmings and Tennisha Bernard had to turn back their passes or resort to shots from far out, while NHT enjoyed more fluency in scoring six for their 13-9 result.

Goal shooters Jodi Ann Ffrench-Kentish and Crystal Grant were on top of their game, especially French-Kentish, who did not miss a shot for the entire final, scoring 10 of the 13 goals, and they both had defenders Althea Byfield and Kameika Sherwood working overtime. They took home the US$1,000 prize money.

Trishana Hanson was the final MVP, while Petal Smith of MOE defeated Trishana Hanson in the shooting competition.

In the consolation final for the Plate Trophy, BHNA Senior 'B' champions JN Bank and RJR All Stars were joint winners, and will share the trophy for six months each. RJR All Stars, who had Sunshine Girl Shanice Beckford in their line-up, defeated ATL 24-21, NYSA of New York 23-18, and drew 22 all with JN Bank in an exciting game. JN Bank defeated NYSA of New York 18-12 and ATL 21-18. Rising Eagle won the dress parade.

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