Sat | Sep 22, 2018

Racers look to continue momentum against Hummingbirds

Published:Tuesday | December 12, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Sabrina Spence (left) of St Ann Orchids fights for the ball with Mellissa Wright (right) of the Kingston Hummingbirds during game one of the final at the Berger Elite netball finals at the University of Technology auditorium last season. Spence is now representing the Hummingbirds this season.

St Catherine Racers will aim to enhance their fluency to bolster a winning opportunity against the Kingston Hummingbirds when both meet in Netball Jamaica's Berger Elite League this evening at the Leila Robinson Courts, starting at 6 p.m.

The match is the first of a double-header, with St James Sharpes and Clarendon Gaters scheduled for the closing match-up at 7:30 p.m.

Of course, there is hope that the rains will stay away as that led to the postponement of Saturday's double-header.

St Catherine Racers have played two matches, defeating the Gaters by one point, as they rebounded from a four-point loss against St Ann Orchids.

 

THREE PLAYERS RETAINED

 

Their assistant coach, Natacia Nembhard, pointed to the fact that they only retained three players from last year's squad and are in the process of sorting the right combinations.

"For the first game, we were trying to put the combinations together," she said, assessing a 37-41 loss against Manchester Spurs.

"For the game that we won, because we're trying different combinations in the shooting area, I guess we lost a bit of momentum as we had a good lead," she observed, of their 39-38 victory against the Gaters.

Nembhard noted that they need to improve offensively as "we lost most of our balls in the attacking area".

In their victory pursuit, the Racers will rely mainly on national defender Jodi-Ann Ward, Nardia Hanson, Jamilah Tulloch, Kestina Sturridge, and Shanice Howe.

 

SEEKING DOMINANCE

 

Hummingbirds' coach, Marvette Anderson, has seen her opponents in action and said her team will be looking to assert itself early.

"They were in two close games," Anderson said. "I'm cognisant of the fact that they're a good team, and we've got to go out there and take charge from the first whistle."

The Hummingbirds coach added: "We're not taking anything for granted. All the teams are balanced, so on any given day, all the teams can win. But we're going out there to do our best."

In their first and only match, the Hummingbirds put in a strong performance to blow out defending champions, St Ann Orchids, 47-34.

"They maintained their composure throughout, even when the other team made a comeback, and they work together as a unit, even though they're coming from different teams, different backgrounds," were key factors highlighted by head coach Marvette Anderson.

Shooters Shanice Beckford and Sabrina Spence led that win with high percentage shooting and they will, again, head their team's hunt for victory, with Paula Thompson, Sasha Lee Wallen, and Hasana Williams, among others, providing relevant support across the court.