Spurs take aim at Hummingbirds, again

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

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A clash between Netball Jamaica's Berger Elite League big two, Manchester Spurs and Kingston Hummingbirds, will highlight today's double-header with a 6:00 pm schedule at the Leila Robinson Courtsat the, National Stadium complex.

Connie Francis's Spurs have had things their own way this season, racking up five wins from as many outings to lead the six-team championship with 15 points. They are followed by the Hummingbirds, on 12 points from six matches.

While the Manchester outfit will aim to extend their unbeaten streak, the Hummingbirds are out to prevent a repeat of their first-round match-up, when they were blown apart 61-40 by the Spurs.

Anna Kay Griffiths has led the Spurs in scoring, with Giselle Allison and Nicole Dixon providing excellent backup. Nationals Khadijah Williams and Mellisa Wright also provide good support for the team that has managed to ward off all challenges thus far.

With half the 10 preliminary fixtures complete, they are virtually assured a place in the four-team play-offs. The teams contesting the second game, St James Sharpes and St Catherine Racers, will meet in the feature encounter, set to begin at 7:30 pm. Both are tied on six points after winning two matches apiece, but while the Racers have played six matches, St James Sharpes have played four.

Interestingly, when they met in the first round, the Sharpes won handsomely, 48-38, after rallying from a huge deficit late in the match. Sharpes, who led for most of the way, will be trying their best to ensure there's no repeat.

St Catherine Racers will bank on the shooting of Tracy-Ann Francis, Kestina Sturridge and Shanice Howe, with Jodi-Ann Ward and Nardia Hanson giving support.

They were due to play on Saturday, but the fixture was rained out. For that encounter, St Catherine Racers' Head Coach Christopher Smart underlined their need for a victory, stating “we need it more than them”.

The same will apply here, also for St James Sharpes, whose former national captain, Simone Forbes, has been hot with 90-odd per cent shooting. Jodi-Ann French-Kentish will provide support under the pole, with Deneen Taylor and Kasey Evering, the towering former national defender, also expected to play lead roles.

“We're working towards winning all our remaining games,” said Evering.

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