Elite League gets under way today
SEVERAL of the island's top netballers will be in action today as the third staging of the Berger Elite League (BEL) will get under way inside the National Indoor Sports Centre with the playing of two matches.
In the opening game at 6:30 p.m., the Under-21 Shiners will take on the St Ann Orchid, while at 7:45 p.m., defending champions Clarendon Gators will oppose Kingston Hummingbirds.
In the curtain-raiser, the Janet Guy-coached Orchid team will start as favourites over the National Under-21 outfit, as they have a wealth of experience in their squad.
The team will include the likes of veteran Simone Forbes and Althea Byfield, and will be complemented by Shanice Beckford, Giselle Anderson and Adean Thomas, who are all part of the present national senior line-up.
It will be interesting to see how the Under-21 team matches up against more experienced players as they continue their preparation for the Netball World Youth Cup slated for Botswana next July.
In the feature, the Dalton Hinds-coached Clarendon Gators will be hoping for a winning start and coach Hinds, despite losing most of his players from last year's team, remains very optimistic about their outlook for the upcoming season.
"We will be without four players from last year's winning team but our chances of retaining the title are very good," said Hinds.
Kasey Evering and Nicole Aiken-Pinnock will lead the charge here for the defending champions.
Marvette Anderson's King-ston Hummingbirds will be hoping to deny the defending champions a good start and will look towards the likes of Shameera Sterling, Stacey-Ann Facey, Thristina Harwood and Kerry-Ann Brown to pull off the win.
Preceding the games there will be an opening ceremony and uniform parade involving all eight teams. The other teams involved are Under-21 Suns, St Catherine Racers and St James Sharps.