Thu | Dec 14, 2017

Spurs hunt second win in Berger Elite League

Published:Thursday | December 7, 2017 | 12:12 AM
Francis

Connie Francis is hoping her Manchester Spurs will carry their end-game rhythm into today's match against St James Sharpes, to improve their chances of recording back-to-back wins, in the opening game of Netball Jamaica's Berger Elite League, at the Leila Robinson Courts today at 6 p.m.

In the feature match-up at 7:30 p.m., Clarendon Gaters will face St Catherine Racers.

"Firstly, I am very happy that we came out on top, winning our first game. But it doesn't end right there," said Francis, whose team trailed at the first quarter, but rebounded to take a solid lead, then fought resolutely to hold off St Catherine Racers.

"After the first quarter, I got a chance to assess the team and we made some changes to get the right combinations as well. What I like about our team is that under pressure, we play better. We had less turnovers and more interceptions ... and to close out the game we were able to put it together," Francis, the former national player and coach, said yesterday.

"Hopefully we'll carry on from how we finished and take that into the game tomorrow (today) as we'll be looking to win. We're starting to gel," noted Francis.

This will be the Spurs' second game in this new season, the fourth staging of the competition.

Anna-Kay Griffiths led Manchester's scoring with 20 from 25 tries in three quarters, while goalshooter Giselle Allison had 14 goals from 21 attempts.

For St Catherine, Tracy-Ann Francis led all scorers with 22 from 27 attempts, also playing three quarters, while Shanice Howe scored nine from 13 and Kestina Sturridge six from eight.

St James' coach, Jennifer Brown, said they got a chance to assess Manchester and want to win. However, she said they will be approaching the match with caution.

"Last night was the first time we were having an opportunity to see everyone," she said of their own team. "We're approaching the game very cautious, but we really want to do well. We were talking about getting it right even though this is our first outing."

St. Catherine will be desperately seeking a win, to stave off consecutive defeats.

Defending champions, St Ann Orchids also suffered a loss on Tuesday night, when they were outclassed 47-34 by Kingston Hummingbirds, whose shooting pair was too hot to handle. Sabrina Spence scored 29 of 31 tries, while her national counterpart, Shanice Beckford, scored 18 from 25 attempts.

Truth be told, The Orchids could have made the tighter with better shooting, as they got ample opportunities. But the combination of the talented Thristina Harwood, who shot 24 goals from 29 attempts, Rebekah Robinson, eight from 14 and Vanessa Jones, two from four, were off rhythm.