Hummingbirds look to wrap up BEL title
Kingston Hummingbirds will be aiming to seal Netball Jamaica's Berger Elite League (BEL) title honours in game two of their best-of-three finals against Manchester Spurs at the National Arena this afternoon, beginning at 5:00 p.m.
The Hummingbirds outplayed the Spurs 62-51 in Thursday night's game one and their head coach, Marvette Anderson, has no intentions of extending the series to game three next week Saturday.
"We've to come prepared, not thinking that it's over," said Anderson, in relation to today's encounter. "I'm sure Manchester Spurs are going to come back roaring to get that win and force a game three. We don't want a game three, we have tired bodies, we want to go and rest them."
The top two were among six who contested a 10-game preliminary competition, which Manchester Spurs topped by virtue of a superior goal difference, having finished with eight wins and 24 points, the same as St. Ann Orchids, last year's winners. The Hummingbirds had placed third with 18 points.
Victory would guarantee Kingston Hummingbirds their second title in this their third trip to the final. They won the inaugural BEL title in 2014, but lost in last year's final against St. Ann Orchids. Clarendon Gaters won the other staging, in 2015.
This is the fourth meeting between the teams this season and Manchester Spurs won the two preliminary round clashes fairly comfortably. However, Manchester Spurs were not allowed to impose their strong attacking game on Thursday. Still, their head coach, Connie Francis, says her team is capable of a rally.
"It's about how we rebound. I think that this team can rebound because some of those mistakes can be fixed," said Francis.
"We have the players who can bounce back and do a better job. So it's about regrouping, and going over all those mistakes, visit them briefly and come up with a game plan and make better passes and better decisions," Francis reasoned.
Sabrina Spence scored 34 from 37 attempts for Kingston Hummingbirds before being forced out of the game in the third quarter, while Shanice Beckford, 21 from 24 and Hasana Williams, six of seven, netted the other goals.
For Manchester Spurs, Anna-Kay Griffiths, 36 from 40, Giselle Allison, 13 from 18 and Nicola Dixon, three from three, scored the goals.
The final was preceded by a meeting for third between the losing semi-finalists, that St. Ann Orchids won 47-35. They led 14-6, 24-17, 38-23 at the end of the quarters.
St. Catherine Racers' scorers were Tracy Francis, 15 goals from 20 tries, Shanice Howe, 10 from 13, Nardia Hanson, six from 11 and Kestina Sturridge, four from four.
St. Ann Orchids' goalscorers were Simone Gordon, 24 from 33, Rebekah Robinson, 16 from 20, Thristina Harwood, six from eight and Stacian Facey, one from one.