Janet Guy, coach of newly crowned Berger Elite League champions, the St Ann Orchids, said it took a lot of hard work and determination from her team to win this year’s title.
Orchids recorded a 49-37 victory over the Kingston Hummingbirds in the deciding game of the best-of-three finals to win the series 2-1 at the Alfred Sangster Auditorium at the University of Technology on Saturday.
It was the Orchids’ first hold on the island’s premier netball trophy. However, they had to do it the hard way after coming from behind to win the series.
The Orchids lost the opening game, 57-43, before returning to level the series with a 58-39 victory in Game Two.
“It was a good team effort and I think everybody on the team understood what it takes to be a champion,” said Guy.
“They train really hard when they do train and they listen and follow instructions and I really think they played hard for the entire season and so they deserved to win here,” said Guy.
“We really bounced back well in the second game to force a game three, which was very good for netball, because a lot of people came out to support, and that was very good and I hope that this will continue into the club leagues,” Guy said.
Sabrina Spence, who is the competition’s leading scorer, netted 39 goals from 44 attempts as the Orchids jumped out to a 26-15 lead at half-time.
Former national captain Simone Forbes was also brilliant for the Orchids as she had her way with national defenders Shareema Sterling and Stacian Facey in scoring 10 goals from 12 attempts.
National player Adean Thomas and former national representative Althea Byfield also turned in a good shift in defence for the Orchid as they outmuscled the Hummingbirds shooters, Thristina Hardwood and Kera Christie, throughout the match.
In fact, Thomas and Byfield were especially brilliant in the second quarter, where they limited the Hummingbirds to just seven goals.
Harwood was the leading scorer for the Hummingbirds with 31 goals from 41 attempts, while Christie chipped in with five goals from ten tries.
Kerry Brown, captain of the Hummingbirds, said they tried their best, but were very disappointed with the result.
“I think we did fight because the scoreline was not that bad, but we played in patches and that was what really cost us the game,” said Brown. “We are very disappointed because after winning in the first game, we didn’t play (as well) in the other games, hence we lost the series.”