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Netball battles at Manchester High

Juniors: St Hugh’s vs Holmwood - Seniors: St Catherine vs Glenmuir

Published:Friday | December 16, 2022 | 1:24 AMRaymond Graham/Gleaner Writer
Kayla Wright (right) of St Catherine High.
Kayla Wright (right) of St Catherine High.
Glenmuir’s coach Rayon Reid.
Glenmuir’s coach Rayon Reid.
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The best junior and senior schoolgirl netball teams in the island will be crowned today.

The ISSA all-island netball finals are on at Manchester High School in Mandeville. In junior action at 11:30 a.m., St Hugh’s High will take on Holmwood Technical before St Catherine High battle Glenmuir High in the senior final an hour later.

Following last Thursday’s action inside the National Indoor Sports Centre where the urban and rural junior and senior champions were crowned two exciting and intriguing battles are expected today. Holmwood are seeking a first junior all-island title while both Glenmuir and St Catherine are seeking their first senior all-island title.

Glenmuir and St Catherine advanced after close games last week. Glenmuir defeated Manchester High 39-35 to win the rural title and St Catherine clipped Gaynstead 26-23 for the urban crown.

Both teams are very strong in defence, and this was the key to success last week. The Rayon Reid-coached Glenmuir were led by goalkeeper Fentonian Henry while it was the same for the Phyllis Thompson-coached St Catherine, as goalkeeper Kaydeen Gordon was outstanding.

Both teams will be highly motivated knowing that the winners will walk away for the first time with the all-island title. With both defences strong, the attacking players could decide the outcome of the match. For Glenmuir, all eyes will be on goalshooter Shanai Martin and goal attack Nickeisha Powell while, for St Catherine, goalshooter Kellian Hunter and goal attack Kayla Wright will be hoping to be on top form.

There were contrasting results in last week’s junior finals where the Carlene Graham Powell coached Holmwood had a narrow 31-30 win over Glenmuir for the rural title while it was a comprehensive 31-22 win for the Nardia Hanson-conditioned St Hugh’s over Immaculate Conception High.

Holmwood, despite dominating all rural teams leading up to the final, were very fortunate against Glenmuir, as a turnover by their opponents with a few seconds remaining in the match enabled them to eke out their narrow win. Despite winning several senior all-island titles, Holmwood, who have won four rural junior titles in the past, will be hoping to cross the line for their first all-island junior title.

After a surprisingly easy nine-goal win over the previously unbeaten Immaculate, coach Hanson will be hoping for another giant killing display today from her girls. This would give her a first success at this level.