Sun | Apr 23, 2017

Forbes makes debut today in Elite League

Published:Sunday | March 22, 2015 | 3:00 AMRobert Bailey
Stacian Facey (second right) of the Kingston Humming Birds blocks a shot from Manchester Spurs' goalshooter Shantal Slater (second left) during the Berger Elite Netball match at Leila Robinson Courts on Friday. Spurs won 35-34.

Former national captain Simone Forbes is set to make her debut today in the Berger Elite League when her St Ann Orchids take on last year's beaten finalists, St Catherine Racers, at the Leila Robinson Courts.

The match, which is set to start at 6 p.m., will be preceded by the opening game between St James Sharpes and Clarendon Gates.

The match between the Racers and the Orchids should be very competitive as both teams are evenly matched in every department.

The Orchids will be looking to Forbes and current national representatives Shanice Beckford, Adean Thomas and captain Kimone Tulloch to lead them to victory.

The Orchids were disappointing in last year's competition as they failed to reach the semi-finals of the championships.

However, Tulloch, who represented the Sunshine Girls at the last World Netball Championships in Singapore, said her team is ready to go all the way in this year's competition.

"We are very confident," said Tulloch. "Last year, we only lost by one point to them and so we know that we are capable of beating the Racers."

Christopher Smart, coach of the Racers, said he is expecting a very competitive game.

"I think it should be a good game because, although St Ann Orchids finished at the bottom of the league last season, they have recruited some interesting new players this season," said Smart. "However, we have maintained most of our players from last season."

MUCH MORE MATURE

Smart added that his players are much more mature than last season and they have gelled well in their preparations ahead of today's game.

The Racers will be depending heavily on the likes of national players Malysha Kelly, Anna-Kay Griffiths and Khadijah Williams, as well as former national players Tracey-Ann Robinson and Nardia Hanson to lead them to victory.

Meanwhile, Manchester Spurs made a winning start to their campaign with a close 35-34 come-from-behind victory over defending champions Kingston Humming Birds on Friday.

Shantal Slater led the way for Spurs with 22 goals from 27 attempts. The Humming Birds led 16-15 at half-time and 27-23 at the end of the third period. However, the Spurs rallied strongly in the final quarter to outscore their rivals 12-7 to clinch victory.

Thristina Harwood led the way for the Hummings Birds with 26 goals from 32 tries.