Sat | Feb 23, 2019

Orchids want more after BEL setback

Published:Wednesday | January 16, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Racers' centre Quania Walker (right) makes a desperate lunge for ball between Orchids pair of defenders Shanique McFarlane (left) and Kimberly Thomas (partially hidden) during a Berger Elite League match ealier this season.

St Ann Orchids head coach Janet Guy wants her players to exercise greater responsibility over their actions in Netball Jamaica's Berger Elite League (BEL).

They get another opportunity to fulfil that undertaking against Clarendon Gaters in a game crucial to the latter's chances of making the semi-finals when both meet at the Leila Robinson Courts today at 6:30 p.m.

The match is the first of two, the second of which pits defending champions Kingston Hummingbirds against St James Sharpes at 7:45 p.m.

All four teams have played nine matches and Clarendon Gaters, on nine points, and St James Sharpes, on six, are battling for the fourth semi-final spot. If Sharpes register an unlikely win and Gaters lose, both will end on nine points, and goal difference will decide which one moves forward.

 

In the semis

 

The Orchids are safely into the semis with 10 points and will play the number-two team if they seal third spot, rather than fourth against number one. They fell away badly in the latter stages to lose 43-57 against leaders Manchester Spurs on Monday night, prompting Guy's call.

"We did better than Saturday's game (when the Orchids lost 38-56 against Spurs), but we have to take ownership for the errors that were made. The team needs to play with more confidence. There are many players on the team who have a lot of experience, and with the experience, [they have to] take on the challenge of the other team because each team in the league is not impossible to beat, you just have to play," explained Guy.

Scoring for Manchester Spurs were Anna Kay Griffiths, with 29 goals from 42 attempts; Gezelle Allison, 18 from 24; and Nicole Dixon, 10 from 12. The Orchids led the first quarter 13-11 but trailed 23-26 and 32-42 at the end of the second and third. Simone Gordon was their high-scorer, with 36 goals from 45 tries, while Thristina Harwood, six from 11, and Rebekah Robinson, one from three, netted the other goals.

The Orchids roster includes national representatives Vanessa Williams and Adean Thomas, plus attackers Harwood and Robinson, who were sidelined for several matches through injury and surgery. The coach said the absence of senior players was also a factor.

"It affected them somewhat because as a team, you want to gel together in order to build from one game to another. But that wasn't happening because we had injuries, we had persons who were going to school, we had squad players and a lot of overwork, so it's very difficult, very challenging, and it's not our team alone; I think all the teams across the whole competition have that challenge. But some have it a little bit more," analysed Guy.

"I'm hoping that the next game that we play, we will do much better than they did before because it's a must-win in order to take a better position," she noted.

The Spurs, with 27 points from their 10 matches, and Hummingbirds, with 24 points, have also qualified for top-four positions. St Catherine Racers finished their preliminary schedule with seven points after losing 47-49 to Kingston Hummingbirds on Monday night.

For the Hummingbirds, Hasana Williams, with 27 goals from 29 attempts, and Shanice Beckford, 22 from 26, were the scorers. Tracy-Ann Francis, with 40 from 45, and Nardia Hanson, seven from eight, scored the goals.