FOR the second year in a row, The Mico University College proved they are atop the heap in Inter-collegiate Senior netball.
Like they did a year ago, the Marescaux Road girls humbled rivals University of West Indies (UWI) in a final when their "A" team scored a decisive 41-27win in at the UWI Indoor Courts on Thursday to retain their title.
It was not a good evening for UWI as despite playing at home, they left empty-handed, having also suffered a heart-breaking defeat against GC Foster College in the Intermediate final.
UWI's "B" team was beaten, 35-34, despite leading for most of the match. Meanwhile, it was a double triumph for GC Foster as their Junior team swept aside Montego Bay Community College, 37-14, for their second title of the day.
After their decisive loss against Mico last year, the Conrad Parkes-coached UWI team was determined to get back on even terms and regain the titlle they won two years ago when they defeated Mico in a close battle.
With the home advantage in the final, they were even more confident and there was no surprise that a packed auditorium lent the hosts their support.
With both teams being unbeaten all season and parading several members of the national Senior team, the stage was set for an intriguing battle.
On the UWI team there were captain Nadine Bryan, Malysha Kelly and Damielle Johnson, while on the Mico side there were Patricia McCalla and Vangalee Williams. The other Sunshine GIrl member, Kimone Tulloch, who missed last year's final had to watch once again from the sideline after picking up a serious knee injury in the semi-final the previous week against GC Foster.
Both teams came into the final with big semi-final wins. UWI had a 41-27 result over University of Technology (UTech), while it was a 47-21 victory for Mico over GC Foster.
UWI took the early lead and were up 4-2, but Mico soon settled and for the remainder of the quarter, took charge with goal defender Williams, along with McCalla, who played centre, leading the way with some excellent plays. The Annette Daley-coached team led 10-8 at the end of the first quarter.
It was more of the same in the second as the likes of wing-attack Jodian Buckle, wing defence Stacyann Griffiths, goal-shooter Sharna Carradice and goal-attack Kerissa Kessna, who were all a part of the Intercollegiate team to the World University Games in South Africa in July, were at their best.
In a bid to stay in the contest, Parkes made several changes, but this did not help as Carradice and Kessna sank goals with ease as Mico stretched their lead at half-time to 20-15.
Mico dominaed the remainder of the game as UWI could get nothing right and made several errors. Rookie goalkeeper Shanika Johnson was a tower of strength as UWI failed to get ball inside the circle.
With Mico dominating, a frustrated Kelly, after being constantly warned in the third quarter for rough play, was ejected for two goals before being re-admitted as Mico extended their third lead, 30-21.
For a brief period in the fourth quarter, UWI fans hop, reducing the deficit to seven points, 31-24. However, Mico regained control and extended their lead, 36-25, within six minutes.