Orchids clip Hummingbirds' wings in BEL clash
Defending champions St Ann Orchids defeated Kingston Hummingbirds 53-47 at Leila Robinson Courts in Monday night's feature clash, to ensure a three-way tie on 18 points among the leading teams in Netball Jamaica's Berger Elite League.
The Orchids have now reeled off four quick wins to make their claims for title retention louder as the 10-game preliminaries head to the play-offs, which will comprise the top four teams.
Six teams are competing, and while the top three are certain to qualify, the fourth spot is pretty much on the line.
Simone Gordon continued to prove significant in the Orchids' late-season charge, scoring 34 of 41 attempts, while Rebekah Robinson, 16 from 20 and Thristina Harwood, three from four tries, were the St Ann team's other scorers.
Sabrina Spence, with a game-high 37 goals from 44 tries, led Kingston Hummingbirds in scoring, with Shanice Beckford, a perfect eight and Hasana Williams, two from seven, scoring the other goals.
In the opening game, Manchester Spurs lost their second match on the trot to also remain on 18 points, falling 48-47 against Clarendon Gaters. On Saturday, Manchester Spurs had tasted defeat for the first time this season, falling 34-35 to St. Ann Orchids.
Prior to Monday's encounter, the Dalton Hinds-coached Clarendon Gaters had lost all six matches, two of which they found themselves deserted by luck at a crucial juncture, to end up losing by one point.
This time, they turned the table on the Spurs, who had won their first six matches.
Melisha Josephs delivered the most telling blows for the Gaters, scoring 36 points from 39 attempts, while Shadian Hemmings contributed the other goals, netting 12 from 20 tries.
Spurs' usually reliable shooting trio scored at a decent percentage, but their defence could not hold their end of the bargain this time as they lost and remained on 18 points.