Sharpes edge closer to Elite netball semis
St James Sharpes moved one step closer to securing a spot in the semi-finals of this year's Berger Paints Elite League, with an exciting 41-38 victory over leaders St Catherine Racers at the Leila Robinson Courts on Friday night.
The Jennifer Brown-coached Racers were led to victory by former national Under-21 player Deneen Taylor, who netted 23 goals from 31 attempts, and former national senior player Jodi-Ann Ffrench, 18 goals from 29 tries.
The victory pushed Sharpes to 13 points, two behind Racers. Clarendon Gaters are also on 13 points, followed by Manchester Spurs (12), St Ann Orchids (nine), and defending champions Kingston Hummingbirds (0).
Brown welcomed the close win.
"We really needed this one," said Brown. "We knew what we had to do to win this game because we tried new combinations and it certainly paid off for us," she said.
"We want to ensure a semi-final spot, and we are doing everything in our power now to ensure that we get to the semi-finals," Brown said.
National player Ann-Kay Griffiths led the way for the Racers with 28 goals from 31 attempts. She received support from LaDonna Lamoth, 10 goals from 20 attempts.
Sharpes started the match slowly as they trailed 9-11 at the end of the first quarter and 17-22 at half-time.
National players Paula Thompson and Sasher-Gaye Henry were outstanding in the third quarter for the Sharpes as they shut down the Racers' attacking unit, which includes Khadijah Williams and Nardia Hanson, while intercepting a number of passes. Sharpes outscored the Racers 13-5 for a 30-27 lead at the end of the third period.
big late run
The winners played strongly in the final stanza and held on in the face of a big late run from Racers.
In the night's other games, Spurs outclassed the Orchids 52-39. The competition's leader scorer, Shantal Slater, led the way for the Spurs with 31 goals from 39 attempts. Slater received support from Crystal Grant, 21 goals from 29 tries.
National player Shanice Beckford, with 31 goals from 33 tries, and Kayann Cousins, eight from 14, were the scorers for the Orchids.
Gaters won 43-30 to hand Hummingbirds their seven straight defeat of the season. National Under-21 player Simone Gordon's 39 goals from 48 attempts and Claudia Callendar, three from four, netted the goals for the Gaters.
Thristina Harwood top-scored for the Hummingbirds with 23 goals from 32 attempts.