'Hard-working' St Catherine wins ISSA U-19 Netball title
St Catherine celebrate after defeating defending champions Gaynstead in the grand finale of the 2022 ISSA Urban Area Schoolgirl Netball Competition at the NISC on Thursday. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

St Catherine High School Head Coach Phyllis Thompson says hard work, confidence, and patience are the key factors for her team's success in the 2022 Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Urban Area Under-19 Schoolgirl Netball Competition.

In an exciting and thrilling contest, St Catherine defeated defending champions Gaynstead High 26-23 in the grand finale held at the National Indoor Sports Centre (NISC) yesterday.

Goal shooter Kellian Hunter netted a game-high 22 goals from 28 attempts, while Kayla Wright scored four goals from five attempts as St Catherine claimed a famous victory. Goalkeeper Kaydeen Gordon was named Most Valuable Player for the match.

For Gaynstead, Akua Latty netted 16 goals from 20 attempts and goal attack Tishana Roach scored seven goals from nine attempts.

St Catherine wasted no time as they dictated proceedings from the opening whistle. They were firing in all departments, from the defensive unit to the centre unit to the attacking unit, they dominated their opponents.

They led 8-4 at the end of the first quarter and upped the tempo to 18-10 in the second quarter. The third quarter was a quarter of numerous turnovers and unforced errors by both teams, which were dominated by Gaynstead; however, St Catherine held the lead at 21-16.

Gaynstead staged a late rally, but their efforts in the final stages of the game proved no match for St Catherine, who held on at the final whistle for a three point win.

"I am very pleased with the performance of the team," Thompson told the Jamaica Observer after the game. "I mean, the girls have been preparing for this since the summer, and it really came to pass that the work we have been putting in paid off.

"It was a great victory because we had been knocking on the door for years and now it has finally opened. I am very happy; I am very elated about the victory."

Glenmuir High defeated Manchester High 39-35 to take the Under-19 Rural crown.

Goal shooter Shanni Martin led from the front with 29 goals from 34 attempts, while goal attack Nickesha Powell got 10 goals from 14 attempts, earning their team its first senior championship.

Malanie Francis had a game-high 31 goals from 35 attempts for Manchester, and Danielle Laidlaw contributed four goals from six attempts.

Glenmuir led 11-8; 18-17; 27-25 before closing out the game with a four-point win.

Glenmuir's Head Coach Ryan Reid was also pleased with his team's victory.

"It is a joyous feeling because I have been at the school for 20 years and we have been trying for years to win a title, and God gave us one today," he said. "This one was an amazing one because we did it for our mentor [Mrs Bailey] as she had an incident a week ago and so we came here to win this for her."

St Hugh's defeated Immaculate 31-22 to win the Urban title in the Under-16 championship, while Holmwood defeated Glenmuir 31-39 to win the Rural title.

The All-Island Championships will be played at the Manchester High School next Friday.

Wild celebration for Glenmuir after winning the ISSA Rural Area Schoolgirl Netball Competition at the NISC on Thursday.(Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Gaynstead's Tanice Green (left) and St Catherine's Amanda McGowan battle for the ball during the final of the ISSA Urban Area Schoolgirl Netball Competition at the NISC on Thursday. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
BY RUDDY ALLEN Staff reporter ruddya@jamaicaobserver.com

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