Red-hot Spurs ready to unleash more fury in BEL

Saturday, December 08, 2018

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MANCHESTER Spurs' players have no plan to drop their intensity when they play St Catherine Racers in the opening game of Netball Jamaica's Berger Elite League (BEL) triple-header at Leila Robinson Courts today.

St James Sharpes and Clarendon Gaters will play the second match at 6:30 pm, while Kingston Hummingbirds, the defending champions, will face St Ann Orchids in the day's closing match, at 7:45 pm.

The Spurs have been convincing all season, winning all four games. They are coming off an overwhelming 63-33 win over Clarendon Gaters on Thursday night, a game in which they unleashed their offensive might over the last half, when they scored 39 goals.

“We're really excited about tonight's game,” said Tracy-Ann Robinson.

“However, I thought we had a very slow start, so the first half of the game was somewhat low-keyed and we weren't getting as much goals as we wanted. But towards the latter end of the game we were able to pick up the pace and had more goals scoring,” she analysed.

The Spurs, who led 12-6, 24-12 and 43-22 at the end of the first three quarters, were led in shooting by Anna-Kay Griffiths, with 33 goals from 42 attempts, while Nicole Dixon scored 17 of 22 and Gezelle Allison 13 of 23. Robinson says they are looking to maintain the tempo today.

“For each game we go with the intention to play hard, we're not underestimating anybody, we're just going there to play and ensure that we execute as much as possible and just follow the coach's instructions,” she said.

Clarendon Gaters had difficulties from the outset with reduced numbers on hand and things only got worse in the second half.

“Three of our players were not here so we had the dead seven and then our wing attack had to leave because she has all-island finals tomorrow (Friday) so we had six players, which resulted in the result that we had,” said Shedieky Hamilton-Barnes, the team's goal shooter, who had to play in other positions.

“We just couldn't match-up tonight. We needed the core of the players and we didn't have it. We're just hoping that for the rest of the games we can have the players, everybody,” added Hamilton-Barnes.

Their team's goals were scored by Danielle Masters, 13 of 21 attempts, Petal Smith, eight of 10, Amanda Pinkney, five of eight, six of 11 and Mischa Creary, one of three. The Sharpes have three points, four less than St Catherine Racers and St Ann Orchids, who unleashed another thriller, in Thursday night's second match that the Racers won 46-45.

Having tied their first match 39-all, the stage was set for an exciting affair and the teams never disappointed as they kept close from start to finish, with St Catherine Racers leading 11-9 after the first quarter, 25-20 at half-time and 34-32 at the end of the third quarter.

The competitive, shot-for-shot battle went right down to the wire with Tracy Francis breaking the tie to score St Catherine Racers' winning goal inside the closing seconds.

St Ann Orchids made one last bid and got the centre pass to shooter Simone Gordon, but as she turned to put up her shot, there came the buzzer to set off a heartbreaking moment for the Orchids, and joyous celebrations among St Catherine Racers. Both teams are now tied on seven points.

Francis led St Catherine Racers with 40 goals from 45 tries, while Zonasha Hinds hit four of eight and Nardia Hanson two from three.

For St Ann Orchids, Gordon scored all 45 goals, from 53 attempts, while Tricia Brown and Patricia McCalla each missed three attempts apiece.

St Ann Orchids were without national goal attacks Thristina Harwood (injury) and Rebekah Robinson (surgery).

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