Jamalco, Tivoli in massive showdown
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
The Leila Robinson Courts will be buzzing with excitement today when favourites and defending champions Jamalco face Tivoli Gardens 'A' in a top-of-the-table clash in the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA)/ Berger Paints Super League competition, starting at 7 p.m.
The match is expected to be a nail-biting encounter, as both teams are evenly matched in all departments. At one end, Jamalco's national defender Nicole Aiken will face off with Tivoli's goal shooter Cleopatra Grant; while at the other, Tivoli's defender Oberon Pitterson will go up against Jamalco's former national goal shooting ace Elaine Davis. In the centre of the court, national captain Nadine Bryan of Jamalco will be contending against Peter Gaye Thomas.
Both teams are tied atop the standings with maximum 18 points from six matches and a win for either side will see them taking sole leadership of the competition. They are followed in the standings by Waulgrovians 'A' (15) and Windalco 12, who both have a game in hand.
Wayne Shaw, manager of Jamalco, and Sylvester Campbell, coach of Tivoli, are full of confidence.
"This is going to be a very hard and close game for both teams, but we're confident that we can come out on top," said Shaw, whose team is seeking their eighth straight hold on the trophy.
"Our aim this season is to finish the league unbeaten this season and retain our trophy," he added. "I believe that once we execute our game plan, then we should be able to achieve this."
Shaw continued: "Tivoli is a very strong team and I'm expecting them to give us a really good fight, but I know that we have the depth to beat them."
Very competitive game
Campbell agrees it will be a very competitive game.
"It is going to be a very fast and furious game by both teams because they are going to play very hard," said Campbell. "It is also going to be a tough battle at both ends of the court because these are two quality sides playing with a lot of current and former national players."
Campbell added: "We are very confident, but we are not going to be overconfident, but we know that if we do the right things tomorrow (today) and deliver, then we know that we should come out at the upper end."
In the day's other games at 7 p.m., Mico oppose Skibo 'A' and Police 'A' tackle Arnett Gardens 'A'; at 5:50 p.m., former champions Waulgrovians 'A' entertain Windalco, and G.C Foster Strikers battle Tivoli Gardens 'B'.
Meanwhile, in the Supreme Ventures divisional A League, starting at 12:30 p.m., it's Liguanea United vs Maverley 'B', Springfield vs Duhaney Strikers 'B', Millennium Strikers vs Job Lane and Skibo 'C' vs Hampshire 'D'.
At 1:30 p.m., it's Blades United 'B' vs Molynes United 'C', Boulevard Baptist vs Hampshire 'C', Duhaney Strikers 'A' vs Greenwich, Police 'C' vs East Central, Alexander Strikers 'B' vs Liguanea United and G.C. Foster vs Hagley Park.