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Orchids, Racers hope to break BEL deadlock

Thursday, December 06, 2018

St Ann Orchids and St Catherine Racers were inseparable when they last met, tying 39-39 in one of this season's most exciting Berger Elite League (BEL) matches.

After today's 6:30 pm opening contest between Clarendon Gaters and leaders Manchester Spurs — who have maximum nine points from three matches — the Orchids and Racers come face to face at 7:45 pm in the reverse fixture of Netball Jamaica's showpiece championship at Leila Robinson Courts.

One of the Orchids' top players, national representative Adean Thomas, believes pacing their play will be key to breaking the deadlock.

“It'll be a good matchup. The last time we tied, so this time we're just going out there to take it one step at a time, remain disciplined and play slowly in attack, and I think that should give us the win,” analysed Thomas.

Victory will be very important to both teams in their quest for a top-four spot. St Ann Orchids, having already played four matches, are third on seven points after defeating Clarendon Gaters 48-43 in one of Tuesday night's two games. A win today would widen the gap for the Orchids to two matches, but a draw would see the teams level as St Catherine Racers have four points from four matches.

Thomas's team was involved in a see-saw battle on Tuesday night, trailing 9-11 after the first quarter, leading 25-21 at the half, and then trailing 33-36 after three quarters.

St Ann Orchids' scorers were Thristina Harwood with 33 goals from 41 attempts; Simone Gordon, 12 from 13; and Tricia Brown, three from four.

Clarendon had only themselves to blame, having accumulated 10 more shooting attempts than the Orchids and also starting the last quarter with a fair lead.

“It's something we've to work towards as a team because each time we're leading and we get into the final quarter we tend to lose the game because we're over-thinking,” said Shedieky Hamilton-Barnes, the team's goal shooter.

“I think we're thinking too much and not focusing on what needs to be done by converting the shots.”

Barnes scored 21 goals from 32 attempts, while the Gaters' other goals were scored by Amanda Pinkney, 14 from 21 and Danielle Masters, eight from 15.

In Tuesday's other game, Kingston Hummingbirds moved to nine points from four games, beating St James Sharpes 51-36. They led 15-7, 25-17 and 38-26 after the first three quarters. Sabrina Spence was the Hummingbirds' main scorer with 26 goals from 34 tries in three quarters, while Hasana Williams, 19 from 24 and Shanice Beckford, who shot six of seven in the first quarter, netted the other goals.

St James Sharpes' scorers were Kestina Sturridge with 22 from 37; Conique Moore, nine from 13; and Shanice Howe five from eight.