ISSA Urban netball finals on today

BY GERALD REID
Observer writer

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

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FORMER champions Excelsior High and Norman Manley will square off in the 2019 Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Urban High School Girls' Senior League netball final today at Leila Robinson Courts, starting at 5:00 pm.

Excelsior High will be hunting their second hold on the Senior League title they first won in 2017, in this the second meeting between the two schools this season. Excelsior had won the Zone C preliminary round contest.

Coach Christopher Smart is looking for a good performance from his players, after their close 36-34 triumph over defending champions Gaynstead High in the semi-final encounter last Friday at the same venue.

“We know Norman Manley is a good team and Excelsior has prepared for the challenge from our opponents. However, the team that stays disciplined with their approach and also more composed should come out on top,” Smart said.

Meanwhile Wayne Wallace, coach of Norman Manley, will be looking for his first Senior League title and he is very confident that the team can pull it off.

“It took the team nine years to reach the Senior League final and I am happy, like the players who are very upbeat and confident that they can defeat Excelsior,” Wallace said.

Wallace said when Norman Manley lost 25-32 to Excelsior in the preliminary round the team was without two of their centre court players, who are expected to be in today's starting line-up.

Excelsior should be banking on shooters Rasheda Robinson and Chamoi Manahan to score the goals, while expecting support coming from the attacking centre court players, and good defensive work from the defenders.

For Norman Manley to come out champions, their hopes rest with shooters Leisha Smith and Shenelle Bentley, with support from the attacking centres, while the defence should play a key role in their game.

Junior League defending champions Gaynstead High, coached by Dalton Hinds, will be looking to retain the title, after his seniors were knocked out in the semi-final.

Gaynstead will be playing against former many-time champions St Hugh's High, coached by Nardia Hanson, beginning at 4:00 pm.

Hinds is looking to retain the junior title. “It's a final, and everyone always would like to win.

“St Hugh's is a good team and they have been together for the past three years and should have the experience.”

Though Gaynstead have won the junior title for the past two years, St Hugh's have not won for a number of years, and will be hoping to deny them a third-straight win.

Meanwhile, Ardenne High and Immaculate Conception will contest the third-place play-off, while the play-off for third place in the seniors is between Gaynstead and St Catherine High. Both games are scheduled to start at 3:00 pm.


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