Friendship claim INSPORTS/GC Foster netball title
Friendship claimed their fourth parish lien, while Greater Portmore finished as losing finalist for a third time following the final of the INSPORTS/GC Foster College St Catherine Primary Schools Netball.
In yesterday's final at GC Foster College, Friendship eked out an 8-7 extra-time victory over Greater Portmore, who will have to wait yet another season to register their first title triumph.
Neither side could be separated as the game was tied at 7 after normal time had ended.
But during the five additional minutes Friendship's lanky goal-shooter Sophia Murdock scored her most vital goal this season which proved to be the winner.
It was also a close battle for third place, with Guy's Hill beating Marlie Mount 7-6.
Greater Portmore earned a consolation trophy by winning the closing rally, beating Guy's Hill 3-2.
Herman Thorpe, coach of Friendship Primary, said the victory was not a surprise.
"I'm so happy," beamed the veteran netball coach following his team's nail-biting win. "They played pretty well and played a discipline game.
"This season we started off very poorly, which was a surprise. But they improved a lot game by game and I must thank the parents and teachers who really made it possible for us," said Thorpe.
Collinton Powell, who is the principal of Friendship, added: "Friendship has a rich netball history and culture. It (netball) is pretty much the flagship sport. So it really comes as no great surprise to many persons.
"I'm an avid sport person, but as the principal I recognise that sport can naturally propel you in a great way. So I want to ensure that our school will do well in the various aspect of sport.
"I tell the students that they are student-athletes in that order. You are student first, athletes next. For example Wednesday (day of semi-finals) a student had an important exam and for me it was non-negotiable as to whether she was going to be at the match or not. She cried her eyes out. But today she was here and she participated in the final and helped us to win."
Though they have been denied for a third time in a final there was nothing to be ashamed of said Marlon Simpson, who conditioned Greater Portmore.
"I am satisfied with our performance," said Simpson. "As you can see the game went into extra-time and we just lost by one point. My girls they are winners and I'm not disappointed. I think it was a good season for us knowing that we started training late."
Chief organisers Institute of Sports, an agency of the state with responsibility for sport development at the grassroots level, executed the programme in conjunction with GC Foster College of Physical Education & Sport.
And according to its media relations officer Andrew Hancel, having the competition this season was "most important" after lack of funding forced the cancellation three years in a row.