Hummingbirds, Spurs score big BEL wins
Heavyweights Kingston Hummingbirds and Manchester Spurs landed some hefty blows in the Berger Elite League (BEL).
Kingston Hummingbirds, the defending champions, thumped St. Ann Orchids for the biggest score and widest margin of victory, 72-38 - in Saturday night's closing match of the triple-header of Netball Jamaica's premier competition.
Manchester Spurs, which played the opening match, hammered St Catherine Racers 58-38 to record yet another impressive victory; and in the middle match, Clarendon Gaters recovered from a slow start to nail St James Sharpes 46-34 and move to six points.
The Hummingbirds flew out of the gates and pummelled St. Ann Orchids to lead 21-7, 43-17 at the end of the first two quarters.
"I think we're gelling more as a team now and we're coming to be the team that we want to be," said Winston Nevers, head coach of Kingston Hummingbirds, who lie second on 12 points from five matches.
The coach begun ringing the changes in the second half and the tempo dropped. Still, the Hummingbirds were able to build a 58-26 advantage by the end of the third quarter and kept going to win easily.
Sabrina Spence was outstanding for the Hummingbirds, scoring 59 goals from 65 tries, while Shanice Beckford hit nine of 10 and Hasana Williams four from six.
Before the start, St. Ann Orchids had no sub and knew what they would be up against it. Also, while they were facing an attack equivalent to the Sunshine Girls, they never had Jamaica's vice-captain, Vangelee Williams, their team leader , and national goal attacks Thristina Harwood and Rebekah Robinson.
Big player factor
"Three big players," Janet Guy, St. Ann Orchids' head coach, noted. "It affected them, but after a while the girls found some energy."
She added: "We decided we're not giving up on any game, once we have players to play. Rebekah we've lost for a while because she has done her surgery, she's recuperating; the captain wasn't able to make it today, and Thristina is injured.
"We're trying to maintain our energy and try to stay in the top four. I'm not giving up on these ladies," said Guy.
Simone Gordon was their high scorer, netting 36 goals from 45 attempts, while Patricia McCalla netted one from one and Kimberly Thomas, one from six.
Leaders Manchester Spurs remained perfect with their fifth win to move to 15 points, doing most of the damage for three quarters of the match.
Gezelle Allison led the scoring with 37 goals from 45 tries, with Anna-Kay Griffiths, 16 of 24, and Nicole Dixon, three of five, also scoring for the Spurs.
Tracy-Ann Francis, with 31 goals from 34 tries, was the Racers' top scorer. Zonasha Hinds, five from nine, Nardia Hanson, one of one, and Quannia Walker, one from four, also contributed.
In the other match, Amanda Pinkney scored 23 goals from 26 tries, Petal Smith, 15 of 22 and Shedieky Hamilton-Barnes, eight of 14 for Clarendon Gaters, who trailed 6-13 and 17-21, through the first two quarters, before moving ahead 32-26 with a monster third quarter.
St Ann Orchids and St Catherine Racers have seven points, four more than St. James Sharpes, whose goals were scored by Kestina Sturridge, with 24 from 29 tries, and Connique Moore, 10 of 15.