Consistency and a top-score of seven goals compliments goal-attack and most valuable player Maria Chase was sufficient for Springer Memorial to dethrone the St Michael School 8-5 in the final of the 2019 Under-13 Barbados Secondary Schools Netball League today.
Springer Memorial with their victorious coach Julie Phillips came into the championship match at the Netball Stadium hungry for success and won, having lost the final last year to the St. Michael School.
Springer Memorial won zone two and coach Julie Phillips was elated with her team’s performance and said over the years they had always been in the top four.
“I am really happy for them because they really worked hard. They said, ‘ma’am, we wanted this from since last week’,” Phillips said, as she thanked the school’s year head Sandra Jones for showing commitment and pushing the players to participate.
Phillips also noted that the team was a work in progress and said she was happy with the current crop of players which she believed could do extremely well going forward.
“We weren’t doing as well as we could have so this group I must say was the most disciplined in terms of attendance at training, and wanting to do well. So, it showed here even though I did not think this game was at the high standard that we usually play. But I thought they [Springer] really wanted it and that was good enough for me.
“It starts as early as September for everybody and obviously the basis of all sports is track and field. So, in terms of getting in all that fundamentals and stuff like that, we have been working. But over the years I find that the players are not committed to playing and wanting to practice, saying: ‘ma’am I can’t do this, I can’t do that.’ So, it has been a little frustrating but I thought this year coming in this crop of players, the second formers and everybody would have been really eager,” Phillips said.
Goal-attack Chase starred with seven goals from 11 attempts for Springer Memorial and goal-shooter Kennia Blackman – daughter of Barbados’ most capped player and national vice-captain Latonia Blackman – had one goal for the Government Hill netball queens.
Scoring for the St. Michael School were goal-shooter Tiana Morris with three goals from five attempts and goal-attack Skye Spencer-Layne with a perfect score of two from two.
Springer Memorial’s dominance led to a 6-1 lead at the end of the opening half with strong defence and several lovely passes inside the semicircle to the shooters, especially Chase.
The ball hardly made it over the St. Michael School’s shooting third in the first half as they looked out of sorts defensively.
There was some improvement in the second and final half as St. Michael cut the deficit by four goals 4-8 and goalkeeper Azara Husbands kept Springer Memorial’s goal-shooter Kennia Blackman quiet in the shooting circle.
Even though Phillips and her team led 8-4 for most of that half, they played for the steal in order to ensure the zone two winners St. Michael School did not score and even though they managed to score one goal [5-8] it was not enough to stall new titleholders Springer Memorial from lifting the trophy.
Coach of the St. Michael School team Desiree Crichlow credited Springer Memorial for being a strong team but expressed disappointment that her team was unable to repeat.
“Springer was a very strong team although I was confident coming into the game. We did not have our best game at all, they did not execute the way that they were supposed to and this is the result.
“ The girls were confident coming into the game but I guess nerves played a part and it definitely showed on court,” Crichlow said.
The third position went to Combermere 13-6 who defeated Christ Church Foundation 13-6.The Waterford ladies led 5-2 at halftime.
Combermere’s goal shooter Rianna Wiggins shot 12 goals from 19 attempts and goal-attack Ciara Evelyn accounted for one from three attempts.
Foundation goal-shooter Serena Rouse netted all six goals for her team from 13 attempts.