Tuesday, 29 January 2019

BERGER ELITE NETBALL LEAGUE: Manchester Spurs dethrone Kingston Hummingbirds to lift championship trophy

GOLDEN GIRLS: The winners celebrating with Berger execs and coach Connie Francis.

IT was easily one of the most thrilling, nail-biting netball finals ever played on Jamaican soil. The defending champions, Kingston Hummingbirds, locked in a keenly contested battle of wills and skills against the Manchester Spurs to decide the winner of this year’s Berger Elite League.

Before a lively crowd inside the National Indoor Sports Centre, both teams put on an outstanding display. Shooters Sabrina Spence and Shanice Beckford led the charge for the Hummingbirds, while Anna-Kay Griffiths and Jozelle Allison were towers of strength for the Spurs. Such was the quality of the contest that the score kept equalizing all the way up to the final whistle: 54-54.

Extra time would have to show who wanted it more. And after two consecutive seven-minute halves, the Spurs surged ahead to claim victory, with the score reading 71-65. 

The Kingston Hummingbirds were coached by Winston Nevers and Roy Pryce, while the Manchester Spurs were prepared by Connie Francis and Patricia Jackson. “We were really hungry for it. The players wanted this win, and that determination helped us,” Jackson told TALLAWAH in a post-match interview. “What also worked for us was that we kept our composure and the shooters delivered.” 

Spurs goal-shooter Jozelle Allison was voted league MVP during the awards presentation ceremony (medals, trophies, cash prizes) that followed. 

> Cream of the Crop: The 2019 Prize Winners 
* MVP Award: Jozelle Allison (Manchester Spurs) 
* Best Centre Court Player: Paula Thompson (Kingston Hummingbirds) 
* Best Defensive Player: Abigail Linton (Kingston Hummingbirds) 
* Most Accurate Shooter: Tracey-Ann Francis (St. Catherine Racers) 
* Teams scoring 60 points or more in a match: Manchester Spurs (2); Kingston Hummingbirds (1) 
* Third-place finishers: Clarendon Gators 
* Second-place finishers: Kingston Hummingbirds 
* 2019 Champions: Manchester Spurs

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