Sun | Dec 9, 2018

Clarendon Gaters hunt first win

Published:Saturday | January 13, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Collin Reid/Photographer Simone Forbes (left) of St James Sharpes collects a pass ahead of Susan Douglas of Kingston Hummingbirds during the Berger Elite League netball match on Thursday. Sharpes won 48-45.

Clarendon Gaters will be hoping to remain focused down the stretch when they face St James Sharpes in the feature match of a Netball Jamaica Berger Elite League double-header at the Leila Robinson Courts today.

The Gaters have squandered winning positions in three of their matches, to lose all five contested in the first half of the country's premier netball championship.

With five games remaining, they are looking to buck that losing trend today at 7 p.m. Their match will be preceded by a 5:30 p.m. showdown between defending champions St Ann Orchids and St Catherine Racers.

The latter have six points from two victories, the same as the Sharpes, while St. Ann Orchids lie third on nine points from three wins. Manchester Spurs lead with a perfect 15 points from five, while Kingston Hummingbirds are second on 12 points, having won four of six matches.

Clarendon Gaters' coach, Dalton Hinds, said that they want to manage their anxiety at crunch time.

"One of the problems in doing the analysis is they want to win so badly and in trying so hard it works against you," Hinds assessed. "We had a training session last night (Thursday), we talked about it at length and we're hoping that we can carry most of what we've discussed into the game.

"One of the challenges is we've not been playing 60 minutes of netball. We play three quarters and then we fall down in the last quarter and that has happened in the last four matches that we played," he added.

"At this level, consistency is the order of the day," outlined Hinds. "Three of the games that we lost marginally we were leading up to the third quarter."

 

ALL-ROUND EFFORT

 

His team is the only one without a former national shooter, at any level, in their ranks, but will look to an all-round effort to provide support for Shedeiky Hamilton-Barnes and Shadian Hemmings.

Their opponents, St James Sharpes, also have some amount of national experience in shooter Simone Forbes, Jodi-Ann French-Kentish, Kasey Evering and Deneen Taylor.

Forbes has been in immaculate form, with a high-90s shooting percentage and paved the way for Thursday's 48-45 win over Kingston Hummingbirds, scoring 36 of 39 tries.

Supporting Forbes in Thursday's win was French-Kentish, who netted Sharpes' other goals on 12 of 16 shooting.

Sabrina Spence had a game-high 40 of 46 tries for the Hummingbirds, while Shanice Beckford scored five of nine tries.

In Thursday's other game, the Spurs marched forward with a 50-42 win over Racers. Anna-Kay Griffiths led the shooting with 25 of 33 tries, while Nicole Dixon scored 24 of 30.