Gaters, Sharpes in Elite League final
Clarendon Gaters upst-aged last season's beaten finalists, St Catherine Racers, 35-33, while St James Sharpes turned back Manchester Spurs 42-40 in the Berger Elite Netball League semi-finals at the Leila Robinson courts on Sunday night.
The best-of-three finals start on Friday at the same venue.
The Gaters were led by some inspired defending from veteran former national goal defence Kacey Evering and a mature all-round display from St Hugh's schoolgirl Kadian Duhaney.
"There were times when we were down, and there were times in mid court we were struggling, but we decided to play to our advantage. We are not a quick team, so we decided that we would slow the game down as much as possible and get into mid court and get the ball to our shooters," Evering said after the game.
Duhaney had 26 goals from 31 attempts, Gordon seven from nine for the Gators. For Racers, Anna-Kay Griffiths scored 25 from 31 attempts, Ladonna Lamonth had seven from 16 attempts.
In the second game, Manchester Spurs were on the brink of creating another upset, but after inspirational goalkeeper Vangalee Williams sustained an ankle sprain and had to be subbed late in the final quarter, the Spurs buckled under the pressure and allowed the St James Sharpes to claw their way back in the final moments and take the match..
Deneen Taylor was top scorer for St James with 35 from 38 attempts, Marian Campbell had seven from 10 attempts. For Manchester, Shantel Slater bagged 26 from 37 attempts and Crystal Grant scored 11 from 19 tries.
St James' coach, Jennifer Sharp, said the final was always on the cards for them this season, and they are confident of taking it all the way.
"We are extremely elated to be in the final. When the league started, we were looking at reaching this point, and once we get to the final, we will win," she stated.