Mon | Mar 4, 2024

St Catherine, Holmwood capture senior netball titles

Published:Friday | December 8, 2023 | 12:09 AMRaymond Graham/Gleaner Writer
Gaynstead High’s senior goalkeeper Crystal Nicholson (left) loses the ball to St Catherine High’s goal shooter Kellian Hunter during the ISSA urban-rural schoolgirls’ netball finals at the Leila  Robinson Courts  yesterday. St Catherine won 42-29.
Gaynstead High’s senior goalkeeper Crystal Nicholson (left) loses the ball to St Catherine High’s goal shooter Kellian Hunter during the ISSA urban-rural schoolgirls’ netball finals at the Leila Robinson Courts yesterday. St Catherine won 42-29.

DEFENDING ISSA urban senior netball champions St Catherine High produced their best performance of the season at the Leila Robinson Courts yesterday to defeat Gaynstead High 42-29 in the final.

The Phyllis Thompson-coached St Catherine were the only defending champions to retain their title as three new champions were crowned on the day.

Thirteen was a lucky number for Holmwood Technical as the Carline Graham-Powell-coached senior team captured their 13th rural title after getting by defending champions Glenmuir High 39-37 in a very close affair.

Both junior finals produced new champions, with Manchester High winning the rural final with a big 33-17 win over defending champions Holmwood. In the urban final, The Queen’s School defeated Wolmer’s Girls 27-21.

In the urban senior final, it was one-way traffic for St Catherine as they jumped into an early 5-0 lead with their very tall players towering over their opponents.

With goal shooter Kellian Hunter and goal keeper Kaydene Gordon at their best, St Catherine led 10-5 after the first quarter then rushed into a 23-11 lead at half-time. Their dominance continued in the next two quarters as they led 33-19 after the third before running out easy 42-29 winners in the end.

Coach Thompson was overjoyed after the win.

“The girls worked hard all season, and I knew they would deliver. They made sacrifices during their lunch breaks and sometimes on Sundays, and I am happy they were able to deliver,” said Thompson.

In the most exciting game of the day, Holmwood fought hard in the final quarter to hold off defending champions Glenmuir in the senior rural final.

Holmwood had an 8-6 lead after the first quarter and increased their lead to 21-16 at the half-time break. Glenmuir cut the deficit at the of end the third quarter as Holmwood led 28-26 going into the final quarter.

In the final quarter, Glenmuir continued to gain ground and came within one point as Holmwood led 36-35, but they held on for the narrow win.

Wing attack Jada Ricketts of Holmwood was named MVP.

A very emotional coach Graham-Powell was overjoyed after seeing her junior team lose an earlier match.

“To God be the glory. It was a gritty performance from the gjrls. When I saw Glenmuir cutting in the lead I was not worried as I know the quality of the team,” she said.

Earlier in the day, there were playoffs for third and fourth among both juniors and seniors. Denbigh High finished third in both the rural juniors and seniors. Their juniors beat Glenmuir 36-16 and the seniors got by May Day High 40-16.

In the urban area, Jose Marti High defeated St Hugh’s High 38-15 in the juniors while Norman Manley High stopped Jose Marti 33-24 in the seniors.

The season will come to an end next Thursday at the same venue with the playing of the all-island finals starting at 2 p.m. Queen’s will take on Manchester in the junior final, and St Catherine will face Holmwood in the senior final.