Denbigh, Holmwood to contest ISSA rural netball finals today

By Gerald Reid
Observer writer

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

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Denbigh High and Holmwood Technical will contest the 2018 Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Rural High Schools Junior and Senior netball finals at the Manchester High School courts today.

Denbigh, the defending Junior champions, will look to retain their title against former champions Holmwood starting at 1:15 pm, before both teams continue their battle in the Senior final at 2:15 pm. Holmwood are the defending champions in a repeat of last year's final.

The Denbigh aggregation reached the Junior final by defeating Porus High 23-17, while Holmwood stopped Manchester High 22-18 in their semi-final. Holmwood advanced to the Senior final with a 49-36 win over Glenmuir High, while Denbigh cruised past St Thomas Technical 44-28 in their semi-final.

According to both coaches, today's finals promise to be very competitive.

The last time both teams met in the Junior final was in 2016 with Holmwood coming out winners, while Denbigh turned the tables by winning the Senior title.

Karline Graham-Powell, coach of Holmwood Technical, said this is the third time that both schools will be playing for the Junior and Senior titles and that her youngsters are longing to become the champions again. “My objective is to always come to beat my opponents, and the girls are ready to execute,” she said.

“Denbigh is also a strong team and very experienced and has always given us keen competition. I know that Denbigh will be getting their players ready for both finals and they are also expected to give us good challenges in both finals but Holmwood is ready and well prepared,” she reiterated.

Meanwhile, Christine Bartley, coach of Denbigh, said both the Junior and Senior finals are going to be very interesting and competitive. “Over the years we have faced Holmwood in one or two finals and it has always produced exciting finishes between us.

“The players did their final preparation yesterday to build their confidence and should be going out there and apply the necessary tactics and strategic plans during the game and to go home with the victories,” Bartley said.

She admitted that Holmwood's Seniors are an experienced crop of players and very strong in their play and also hard to beat, but both Denbigh teams are ready and well prepared for the challenges expected.

“We would certainly like to turn the tables this time around on our opponents, especially in the Seniors, but playing against Holmwood it is going to be hard as they play right down to the final whistle, “ she added.

Both coaches think that the shooting departments should be one of the key areas for victories, but they also feel that attacking centre plays and strong defending should be crucial also.

The shooters for Denbigh Juniors are Marion Smith and Sadae McCalla, while Stacey McKenzie and Khadijah Wright will reply for Holmwood.

The two shooters from Holmwood in the Seniors are Aaliyah Lue and Shadine Bartley, while Denay Thomas and Safia Hunter are the shooters for Denbigh.

Today's matches

11:00 am Juniors — 3rd-place play-off Porus vs Manchester

12:00 pm Seniors — 3rd-place play-off Glenmuir vs St Thomas Technical

Final Juniors

1:15 pm — Denbigh vs Holmwood

Final Seniors

2:15 pm — Holmwood vs Denbigh

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