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Jamalco, Waulgrovians 'A' in final showdown
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Defending champions Jamalco will face arch-rivals Waulgrovians 'A' in Game One of their best-of-three finals of the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA)/Berger Paints Super League competition at the Leila Robinson Courts today, starting at 6 p.m.
Both teams booked their place in the finals following exciting semi-finals victories over Windalco and Tivoli Gardens 'A', respectively, on Tuesday night.
Jamalco, who are seeking their seventh hold on the trophy, defeated sister-team Windalco 55-42. Former national representative Elaine Davis led the scoring for the winners with 44 goals from 55 attempts and received support from captain Marsha Murphy, 11 goals from 16 tries.
Anna-Kay Griffiths, with 22 goals from 27 attempts, and Pital Smith, 20 from 26, were the scorers for Windalco.
Waulgrovians 'A', led by Christina Solmon's 27 goals from 32 attempts, defeated Tivoli Gardens 49-42. Solmon received solid support from her captain, Simone Forbes, who sank 22 from 25.
Cleopatra Grant, with 30 goals from 38 attempts, was the leading scorer for Tivoli Gardens.
The final is expected to be a mouth-watering encounter as both teams are evenly matched in all departments. However, one of the most anticipated mini battles is expected to be between Jamalco's goal shooter Davis and Waulgro-vians' former national player and defender, Oberon Pitterson. It is also expected to be an exciting battle in centre court between national players Nadine Bryan of Jamalco and Paula Thompson of Waulgrovians. Jamalco's goal defence, Nicole Aiken, will also square off with her national teammate and goal shooter, Solmon.
Better of their opponents
When the teams met in the preliminary round, Jamalco got the better of their opponents 49-42.
However, both coaches are very confident.
"I think that it is going to come down to who wants it more on the day and we are very confident, more than them, because we beat them in the preliminary round and so they will have to think about us more than how we think about them," said Winston Nevers, coach of Jamalco.
"Waulgrovians have been playing good because they have been getting players in central areas and we will have to go out and counteract their style of play and make sure that we beat them convincingly," Nevers noted, adding that they won't be underestimating their opponents.
"The Waulgrovians team always plays until the final whistle and they have a number of experienced players and we will have to make sure that we come with our 'A' game," he said.
Meanwhile, Patrick Brissett, coach of Waulgrovians 'A', said: "I think that the girls are more confident than I am because they have been saying from about mid-season that they are going to the final and they are going to win."
Brissett added that his team has been playing well this season and is very focused.
"I think that we have good manpower because we were able to use different combinations in this game (against Tivoli) and we still have not used another combination that we have," Brissett pointed out.