Tue | Apr 23, 2019

Hummingbirds, Spurs contest BEL final tonight

Published:Monday | January 21, 2019 | 12:00 AM
The Kingston Hummingbirds' Hasana Williams (left) goes for ball ahead of the Manchester Spurs' Gezelle Allison during last season's Berger Elite League final.

Defending champions Kingston Hummingbirds and Manchester Spurs will renew their rivalry for Netball Jamaica's Berger Elite League title, when both meet in the Game One of the best-of-three finals showdown at the National Indoor Sports Centre (NISC) tonight at 7:30 p.m.

At 6:00 p.m. there will also be a third-place play-off between St Ann Orchids and Clarendon Gaters, who both lost semi-final fixtures at NISC on Saturday.

The final promises to be a high-class encounter, based on the vast spread of national players on either team, their impressive form throughout the season and the tight battles between both in the preliminaries.

Besides title honours, the teams are motivated by a number of factors, with Spurs hunting their third consecutive hold on the title and a first for head coach Winston Nevers, who is having his first stint.

Manchester Spurs need no greater motivation than the fact that they have never won the league.

 

Confident

 

"I'm really confident," Hummingbirds coach Nevers said. "As a coach I'm confident and always say I'm going to win.

You don't have to win, but I'm always confident. I would really want to take this final for the first time coaching a professional league team."

His team is balanced, but strongest in attack with a national front-court of centre Paula Thompson, Hasana Williams, Shanice Beckford and high-scoring goal shooter Sabrina Spence, who still topped the league in scoring despite missing their last two preliminary matches, due to injury.

Spurs assistant coach Patricia Jackson says that the team is happy to be back in the final.

"We're just going out there to play," she said. "We have nothing to lose, we're just going out there trying to execute and be the champions this year.

"We 100 per cent really need to get this title because we've a talented set of ladies, so we're very hungry for a final right now. We have equal chances.

All our shooters have to do now is come up because our defensive area has been doing well for the past matches."

Game Two is set for Wednesday, January and Game Three, if necessary, on Saturday, January 26, also at NISC.