Netball

Racers, Sharpes suffer big blows in Elite League

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

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The chances of the two main teams — St Catherine Racers and St James Sharpes — contesting the final play-off spot in the Berger Elite League were dealt a big blow on Saturday by teams that have already qualified.

Racers went down 37-45 to third-placed St Ann Orchids, while St James Sharpes lost 44-60 to the Kingston Hummingbirds.

Four teams are assured spots in the six-team championship, which is currently at the business end of the round-robin 10-game preliminaries. The Hummingbirds' sixth win in nine matches lifted them to 18 points, the same as Manchester Spurs, who have played two games fewer. Spurs stayed third while advancing to 15 points, from seven matches, well clear of St Catherine Racers, who have nine points from eight matches. St James Sharpes are on six points from seven games.

Clarendon Gaters, the other team in the league, are yet to score, having lost all six matches.

Despite having only two games remaining, the Racers, already three points to the good, appear to hold an ace on Sharpes, as their remaining matches are against bottom-placed Gaters and the Sharpes, both of whom they have already beaten.

Sabrina Spence extended her high-scoring average to lead the Hummingbirds past St Catherine Racers in Saturday's feature encounter. Spence has been averaging over 40 points for much of this season and made those statistics prettier by scoring 51 goals from 58 attempts. Her team's other goals were scored by Hasana Williams, who was perfect with six and Shanice Beckford, three from four tries.

All-round, the shooting was not bad by the St Catherine Racers who were unable to match their opponents with scoring opportunities. Tracy-Ann Francis was their top-scorer with 25 goals from 27 tries, while Kristina Sturridge sunk 15 of 17 attempts and Shanice Howe four from five.

In the opening game, Simone Gordon led the Orchids to victory in scoring 25 goals from 34 tries, while Rebekah Robinson, 15 from 21 and Thristina Harwood, five from five, netted the other goals.

Former national shooter Simone Forbes netted most goals for St James Sharpes, converting 22 from 26 tries, with the team's other goals coming from Jodi-Ann French-Kentish, 14 from 24 attempts and Priscilla Thomas, one goal from two tries.

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