It will be a case of defending champions versus former champions. However, regardless of the outcome the 2017 Barbados Secondary Schools’ Under-19 netball title will be climbing a hill come Thursday evening.
The big question is whether it will be Government Hill or Church Hill. That’s because both Springer Memorial and Christ Church Foundation easily won their respective semi-final encounters to book their tickets to the final in two days time.
Playing at the Netball Stadium on court two, Springer who were without their main goal attack and top player Rashanna Thorne due to suspension, made light work of Queen’s College in a re-enactment of last year’s final defeating the Husbands, St James girls 21-13.
With Thorne’s much-noted absence, Jada Smith stepped up to the plate with 19 goals from 29 attempts, but missing ten times from relatively close range
Smith was assisted by Sierra Coward who had big boots to fill and wing attack Julisa Jones- Smith who each scored one goal. Coward had one goal from three attempts while Jones-Smith netted her solitary attempt.
Knowing that they were facing a tough task, Queen’s College’s goal attack Brittney Small who was reluctant to shoot in the quarterfinals had no choice but to take aim as she bagged three goals from seven attempts.
However, Janine Forde was the top scorer for QC with nine goals from 12 attempts.
Forde tried her best to rally her team, but there was no stopping Springer who have their eyes on a third netball title in as many years.
It was one-way traffic which was very surprising to fans as both teams knew each other quite well. Springer won most of the quarters of the match except the second one which they lost 7-5 but winning the first 6-1, the third 5-2 and the fourth 5-3.
The reigning queen’s backline of Shonte Seale and Diamond Hollingsworth at the heart did extremely well all evening sniffing out any possible offensive danger posed by Queen’s College.
Both Seale and Hollingsworth intercepted a number of passes spearheaded by center Janiaa Mayers who ensured Forde didn’t have many chances to convert.
In the other match played on court one which was much more evenly contested, Foundation defeated Lester Vaughan by just eight goals, 25-17.
After losing to the champions in the final play-off match and then winning their quarterfinal match 17-14 over the St Michael school, the girls from Cane Garden, St Thomas were full of confidence coming up against a Foundation team who had decimated Parkinson 47-7 to reach the last four.
However, it was Foundation’s day on the court as goal shooter Romancia Odwin scored 11 goals from 17 attempts with some supportive spectators frequently yelling “nothing but net” as her shots went in.
Chiara Chase was the top girl for Foundation, though, with 12 goals from 19 attempts and wing attack Briana Holder chipped in with two goals from three attempts.
Lester Vaughan depended on goal shooter Jana Joseph and Vivica Addison who had 7 goals from 12 attempts and 10 from 19 respectively which weren’t enough to give them a victory.
The final will get underway at 3:45 p.m. after Queen’s College take on Lester Vaughan in the third-place match.