Tivoli Gardens capture Open League netball title

Observer writer

Monday, April 30, 2018

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TIVOLI Gardens pulled off an exciting 33-30 win to capture the 2018 JN Bank/Netball Jamaica Open League final at the Leila Robinson Courts recently.

Arnett Gardens brought the large crowd to its feet in the last quarter of the match with a spirited effort that nearly won them the title, but a missed shooting opportunity inside Tivoli's circle denied them of victory in the closing stages.

Winning coach Sylvester Campbell said it was a very exciting match, but the players managed to pull it off in the nick of time. He also said his players did not apply themselves for the changes made by Arnett Gardens in the fourth quarter which created pressure, but that they regained their composure in the dying seconds.

Losing coach Dalton Hinds said it was a very competitive game as his team had to come from eight goals down and rallied strongly in the fourth quarter to give themselves a winning chance by tying the scores at 30-30.

“The team lost their momentum when a shooting chance was missed, along with a turnover that they should have capitalised on, but wasted the opportunities. This is the team's first final in the Open League competition, but Tivoli through their vast experience managed to regain their rhythm to score three goals in the closing minutes to come out winners,” Hinds said.

He said his players will be looking forward to competing well again in the Divisional Major League competition and hoping to be among the top teams in quest for the title.

The first quarter of the Open League final was evenly contested with the losers going up 6-5. However, Tivoli Gardens fought back nicely scoring five goals to their opponents' three before the quarter ended to take a slim lead 10-9 at the break.

Tivoli Gardens picked up the pace in the second quarter through accuracy of Shediky Hamilton-Barnes and Jodi-Ann Ffrench-Kentish from turnovers to move the score to 22-15 at the half time.

The third quarter ended with only seven goals scored by Tivoli Gardens and six by Arnett Gardens as defence dominated that segment. Tivoli Gardens led 29-21 at the final break.

Then came the big turnaround in the fourth and final quarter as Arnett Gardens stepped up their game, especially with the inclusion of shooter Kadian Mendez, who replaced Sabrina Spence at the goal-attack position.

Trailing by eight goals entering the final quarter, Arnett Gardens closed down Tivoli Gardens lead as shooters Mellissa Josephs and Mendez proved more accurate.

In the end it was too little, too late.

Meanwhile, former many-time champions JAMALCO beat University of the West Indies (UWI) Pelicans 26-23 in the third-place play-off. Tivoli Gardens had beat UWI Pelicans 28-26, while Arnett Gardens had clipped JAMALCO 27-26 in the semi-finals.

Determined 'A' got the better of G C Foster Lions 'B' 26-23 to capture the Consolation Open League final, while the Jo Wigman Rally was won by Molynes United 'B', who defeated Rivoli United in the final.

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