St Catherine netballers raring to go against Gaynstead
St Catherine goal defence Ashprie Thomas (left) grasps the ball tightly ahead of St Hugh's wing attack Royana Scott (right) during their semi-final match of the ISSA Urban Area Under-19 schoolgirl netball competition at the Leila Robinson Courts on Friday, December 2, 2022. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

Head coach for St Catherine High School netball team Phyllis Thompson says after some fine-tuning, her girls are ready to go as they take on defending champions Gaynstead High in the grand finale of the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Urban Area Under-19 Schoolgirl Netball Competition at the National Indoor Sports Centre (NISC) today at 3:30 pm.

En route to the final, St Catherine edged a determined St Hugh's team 36-35 in their semi-final game at the Leila Robinson Courts on Friday, December 2, while Gaynstead got the better of Jose Marti, 34-31.

Goal shooter Kellyann Hunter scored a perfect 27 goals from 27 attempts, while goal attack Kayla Wright got nine goals from 14 attempts for St Catherine.

"We are okay so far. I mean, the girls have been training well going into the game. We're just focusing on the areas I mentioned we needed to focus on, and I believe we're doing well in terms of preparation. Everybody is good to go. We are just tidying up some little areas, but everybody is upbeat and ready to go," Thompson told the Jamaica Observer.

Thompson said that while opponents hold a victory over her team, her players are coming hard for the victory, which they believe they can achieve.

"We played against Gaynstead before in a final, and we lost that match because we had to play with one player short. We ended up losing the game by four points with just six players.

"Gaynstead always comes out and plays to the last whistle, and we intended to go out and play hard because we really need to win this one. They are the defending champions, and I know that they are going to come hard at us, but we are willing to go hard as well," said Thompson.

For Gaynstead, they will be relying heavily on goal shooter Akerah Latty to bring them home. In the semi-final match against Jose Marti, she netted an impressive 33 goals from 37 attempts.

Faith Gordon, captain and defence goalkeeper, anticipates another difficult match against St Catherine.

"Our focus is on St Catherine and the championship title. That will be a good and exciting match, but I am backing Gaynstead to come out on top," Gordon said.

Also today, the rural area competition will be played at the NISC.

Meanwhile, St Hugh's will go up against Immaculate Conception High for the Under-16 title, also today.

— Ruddy Allen

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