Photo: St. Ann Orchids utility player and Sunshine Girl Shanice Beckford
The St. James Sharpes and the Manchester Spurs played out the first draw of the 2016-2017 Berger Elite League netball competition on Thursday night. In a keen tussle at the Leila Robinson Courts at the Independence Park, the teams played out a 36 all tie in a game riddled with unforced errors and poor shooting.
The low scoring game failed to spark as the shooters missed the mark more than they scored. There was however, an intense mid-court battle where the athleticism and dynamism of the players were on full display.
The Sharpes trailed by one at half time, led by 3 at the end of third quarter but saw the Spurs drawing level with the final shot of the game.
Jody Ffrench-Kentish with 26 from 37 and Crystal Grant 22 from 34 led the way for the Sharpes and the Spurs respectively.
The opening game of the day was by far the more exciting as the St. Ann Orchids overcame a 3 points half time deficit to defeat St. Catherine Racers by four points at 58-54.
Both teams welcomed back their international players from the tour of England and threw them back into the deep end in order to secure victory.
Khadijah Williams began at centre for the Racers and matched up against her best friend and fellow Jamaican International Shanice Beckford, as they both tried to propel their respective teams.
Williams had the edge over her international teammate up to half time as the Navy Blue clad Racers kept their opponents at arm- length.
But the third quarter belonged to the Purple clad Orchids who sprinted pass their opponents to hold a ten point lead at the end of three. The damage was done by Sabrina Spence who had a final tally of 42 goals from 51 attempts. Spence was a member of the Racers outfit when she last played in the league in 2014.
The Racers managed to claw their way back into the contest in the final quarter, but the deficit proved to be too much as the clock expired before they could draw level. Anna Kay Griffiths led the way for the Racers with 33 points from 38 attempts.
The next round of games will be played on Saturday, starting at 5:00pm.