The queens of athletics, Christ Church Foundation School and the St Michael School, are now the respective champions of the Barbados Secondary Schools Netball League that concluded this afternoon at the Netball Stadium.
In a memorable 2018 performance at the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletics Championship, the two schools could not be separated on the points table as they tied for top honours.
Now today in a different sport and setting, Foundation featured in the Under-15 final and emerged victorious 28-24, as they came from behind 5-8 in the opening stanza to edge Queen’s College in the second and third periods 16-14 and 21-20. Meanwhile, the St Michael School ended their 14-year drought having last won the title in 2004. Today they got the better of former champions Springer Memorial in the Under-13 final winning 6-4 after the score was locked 2-2 at half-time.
Victorious coach of Foundation, Sandrene Jordan, told Barbados TODAY it wasn’t easy for the young ladies from Church Hill to defy the odds and come out undefeated in the competition. Jordan commended her shooters, goal-shooter Carol-Ann Nurse who had an almost perfect score of 18 goals from 19 attempts and fellow national Under-16 player and goal-attack Chiara Chase with 11 from 17, for their excellent work inside the semicircle.
“These girls did not have a lot of practice leading into the Under-15 final but we got here nonetheless, so we did well…We focused on team defence a lot especially in this final and our shooters Carol-Ann and Chiara did really well. I told the girls do not give up until the fat lady sings,” an elated Jordan said.
Under the supervision of umpires Linda Wilson and former national goal-shooter Laurel Browne, the finals commenced at 4.p.m. with Queen’s College having the majority of ball possession but their goal-shooter Kaelyn Shockness who ended with 11 goals from 20 attempts and goal-attack Janine Forde 13 off 24 attempts, missed too many shots which proved to their detriment.
Queen’s College’s centre player Kimani Archer, who was once part of that successful Blackman and Gollop Primary School netball team, did well in midcourt to keep the ball moving along with support from wing-attack Alysha Mascoll who was later substituted for Anise Alleyne.
After realizing that Queen’s College was not scoring well, Jordan opted to change her defence, replacing goal-defence Tiarra Graham from as early as the second quarter with Serena Edwards and Dessani Whaite came on for Britni Garnes at goal-keep.
The tall and well built Rashan Hunte of Queen’s College playing at goal-defence did well at times to put pressure on fellow national Under-16 teammate and Foundation captain and goal-attack Chiara Chase who played well.
Queen’s College down by two points at 14-16 managed to equalize against Foundation as both sides floated the ball in an attempt to reach the semicircle. The scores were periodically tied at 17-17, 18-18, 19-19, 20-20 until Foundation goal-shooter Carol-Ann Nurse broke the deadlock to give her team a one-goal lead at 21-20 heading into the decisive quarter.
It was a thriller in the final ten minutes of play with the scores once again tied 24-24 until Foundation showed great determination to steal ball possession and score the next four consecutive goals for the win.
Last year’s champions the Lester Vaughan School came third with a 20-14 (7-4, 14-7, 16-10) result over Graydon Sealy Secondary in the third-place game.
In the first final of the day, the St Michael School remained true to their motto, which says ‘Nothing Comes Without The Help Of God’.
Coach Desiree Crichlow told Barbados TODAY she credited hard work for her team’s success while at the same time she gave special mention to Rangers’ coach Harriett Waithe.
“The Under-13s who are in second form, they mainly train after school with Miss Waithe. But the first-formers who are on the team, they train with me at lunchtime. The girls played their hearts out and we really wanted to accomplish the win this year especially with us tying for the BSSAC championship. We want to continue our winning performances throughout the year,” said Crichlow, also a national track and field coach.