The victory was sweet like a slice of sweetbread for Grantley Prescod Memorial Primary, the new queens of the Pine Hill Dairy National Sports Council’s Primary Schools Netball Competition.
It was a historic day for the St Barnabas-based Grantley Prescod team who just last week celebrated as champions of the BICO Football competition and returned today to complete the double by lifting the netball title with an entertaining 17-10 (5-2, 7-6, 10-7 ) victory against two-time finalists Vauxhall Primary.
Grantley Prescod are the undisputed darlings of zone four named after Marion Johnson-Hurley and Carolyn Sinckler. That performance made them the first school to claim both the football and netball trophies in the same year of National Sports Council primary schools competition.
The final’s most valuable player was Faith Wilson wearing the goal shooter’s bib for Grantley Prescod. The tall sharp-shooter scored an impressive 15 goals from 17 attempts and received assistance from goal-attack Fabianna Jones with two of two, as they commanded the semicircle.
The main spark for Vauxhall was goal-attack Jamille Baird with nine goals from ten attempts. Goal-shooter Kayley Sealy netted one of two opportunities. Baird was so good in the final that she was one of three players adjudged most outstanding goal-attack. The other two were Shontel Jacobs of Wilkie Cumberbatch Primary and Kenechie Harris-Jordan of Hindsbury Primary.
Tournament coordinator Tracey Leacock said a total of 52 teams participated this year. Vauxhall had the opening centre pass and under the guidance of umpires Sonia Banfield and Sandrene Jordan – coaches at the National Sports Council – the feature match commenced with high intensity.
Vauxhall opened the scoring through Baird but Grantley Prescod quickly raced to a three-goal lead 5-2 at the conclusion of the first of the four quarters that were each played for six minutes.
Vauxhall managed to equalize 5-5 with goal-attack Baird firing the required three-goals to tie the score. Suddenly it was even-steven, as Vauxhall managed to slow down the pace of the game and hustle their way back into the contest, even though Grantley Prescod took a one-goal advantage (7-6) at halftime.
Grantley Prescod’s goal-defence Shonte Codrington, wing-attack Davina Lewis and goalkeeper Shakayla Howard, along with the two shortest players on court, wind-defence Christiana Padmore and centre player Jakayla Waterman, were all instrumental in ensuring that the ball stayed out of Vauxhall’s possession for most of the game.
And they did a fabulous job as Vauxhall managed just three goals in the decisive quarter compared to seven by Grantley Prescod who were on their way at that stage to be crowned champions.
Two of the aforementioned took home top prizes for Grantley Prescod. Waterman jointly tied for the best centre player with Alika Harewood of St Judes Primary and goal-defence Codrington shared that award with Kenisha Ashton of Lawrence T. Gay Primary. The only positions that were solo were those of goalkeeper won by Ameilia Prescod of Vauxhall and Lyren Brathwaite of Christ Church Girls.
Grantley Prescod emerged undefeated in the competition and victorious physical education teacher Dwayne Moseley gave much credit to coach Faith Sealy, manager Andrew Bispham and National Sports Council coach Monette Wharton.
Moseley said that tomorrow the school would have a big celebration around the St Barnabas community. He said this would be in an effort to highlight the positive work being done at the school.
“People associate the area with bad behaviour, saying, ‘oh, these are pine children, right?’ But one of the things that we have worked on with this team has been discipline and remaining focused. And as you see here today the girls were up to the task, focused and a well-disciplined team,” Moseley said about his team that won the third-place game last year.
Wilkie Cumberbatch Primary won the third-place game 15-5 (3-1, 6-2, 10-5) over last year’s champions West Terrace Primary. It was an impressive showing by Wilkie Cumberbatch, who also won the team shoot competition and clinched the best individual shooting prize through Kennia Blackman (53 goals), the daughter of national vice-captain and Barbados’ most capped player Latonia Blackman. Finishing second was Blackman’s teammate Shontel Jacobs and Ciara Smith of Deacons Primary.
Interestingly, this is the first time in the competition that the top two teams in the final came out of the same zone, and similarly, the third and fourth place teams, Wilkie Cumberbatch and West Terrace are also from the Angela Gibbs and Anna Shepherd zone. Despite losing the third-place game, West Terrace topped that zone ahead of Wilkie Cumberbatch.