Champs Spurs hand Orchids first loss in Elite League
Defending Champions Manchester Spurs handed St Ann Orchids their first loss in Netball Jamaica's Seprod Elite League, with a 45-41 win in the third round of the competition at the National Indoor Sports Centre yesterday.
Spurs coach Rasheed Joseph believes they are finding their rhythm, after losing their opening match of the competition, which returned on March 10 after being absent for more than three years, due to a lack of funding and the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's a bit of inexperience and I truly believe that our team captain Shanice Beckford, who was absent for the first game, has played a mental part on the ladies," Joseph said.
"Shanice, however, is back with us in training and in games, and her motivation on and off the court is very sensational to the ladies."
Joseph said it was a team effort, which handed the Spurs their second straight win in the league.
"It is really about the team discipline and the ladies following the instructions of the coaches and also keeping themselves motivated to play the game," Joseph said.
Spurs led from start to finish, but St Ann Orchids were always right on their tail.
The Spurs edged Orchids 10-9 to take the first quarter and later expanded their lead by three goals as the scores were 23-20 at the half-time whistle. The third quarter ended with Orchids still very close behind Spurs, with the scores 34-32.
Spurs' goal shooter, Shantel Slater, was the top shooter of the game with 33 goals from 37 attempts.
Orchids coach Dalton Hinds believes they will rebound from their first loss of the competition.
"It was a tough loss, but we are still in a good place. You learn from the losses," he said.
Hinds said this loss will not affect their drive as they still are aiming to win the league.
"It's just about going back, looking at what went well for us, how we can improve on those stuff, what never went so well and how we can fix it," Hinds said.