This year’s Barbados Secondary Schools’ Netball League Under-19 title will be heading to either Government Hill, St Michael or Husbands, St James.
That’s because last year’s champions Springer Memorial and Queen’s College won their respective semifinal encounters this afternoon to secure their places in the final.
Playing at the Netball Stadium, Springer Memorial fought their way back from three quarters in the deficit to defeat Christ Church Foundation School by a mere one point at 23-22 (4-7, 8-10, 12-18) in what was an intriguing contest between two of the better teams in this year’s competition.
Scoring for Springer Memorial were goal-attack Rashanna Thorne with 12 goals from 14 attempts and goal-shooters Jada Smith and Tyra Holder six off nine and five from eight respectively.
Meanwhile the top shooters for Foundation were goal-shooter Chiara Chase with 12 goals from her 16 attempts and goal-attack Stephaine Shepherd, ten from 14.
What is interesting to note is that these two teams met each other in last year’s final when Springer Memorial emerged as champions and no doubt heading into today’s contest Foundation wanted sweet revenge and just when they got so close it all turned sour a the end.
Foundation led by six goals when the third quarter ended and they continued that momentum for the most part in the decisive period when suddenly their center player Leilani Haddock left the court with a stomach ache which forced Shanice Brathwaite on court as her replacement and it was from there that the girls from Church Hill lost their grip on proceedings. They began to push the ball instead of slowing the game down.
Springer Memorial’s wing-defence Sierra Coward was very good as she intercepted a number of passes to ensure the ball did not reach Foundation’s goal-attack Shepherd or goal-shooter Chase. Coward worked well with wing-attack Jada Smith to provide goal- scoring opportunities after they missed out on quite a few in the first, second and third quarters.
The reigning queens who are now in search of their second consecutive under-19 netball titles in recent years showed more urgency during the decisive quarter and perhaps a bit too much aggression from goal-defence Tricia Phillip who was sent off court by international umpire Marion Johnson-Hurley.
Phillips, however, returned to court one minute later and Springer Memorial down 20-22, managed to tie the scores 22-22 compliments two consecutive goals from goal-attack Thorne followed by a precision shot taken by goal-shooter Jada Smith who came on in the third quarter to replace Tyra Holder and that ultimately sealed the game.
In the other match played Queen’s College were victorious 16-15 (3-4, 6-9, 12-10) over Lester Vaughan Secondary. Queen’s College’s goal-shooter Janine Forde had eight goals from ten attempts along with fellow shooter Kaelyn Shockins who made five goals from her eight attempts while goal-attack Brittany Small had three goals out of six attempts.
Scoring for Lester Vaughan goal-attack Vivica Addison netted ten goals from her 14 attempts and goal-shooter Jana Joseph chipped in with five goals from her eight attempts.
The final is this Thursday at the Netball Stadium.