Mon | Dec 11, 2017

Excelsior, Camperdown in big netball clash

Published:Wednesday | November 8, 2017 | 12:00 AMRaymond Graham

WHEN the second set of matches in Round Two of the urban ISSA schoolgirl competition get under way this morning at 10:30, most focus will be on the senior Group One clash between defending champions Excelsior High and 2015 winners Camperdown High.

Both teams are unbeaten this season and had contrasting wins two days ago.

Despite playing without three of their top players, the defending champions easily got the better of Holy Trinity 49-8. However, the east Kingston-based Camperdown had to pull out all the stops for a close 36-35 win over a resolute Ardenne.

Both teams know that a defeat today could undermine their chances of advancing to the semi-final stage where only two teams will advance and both will be wary of the fact that the group also includes the very consistent St Catherine High, who are also unbeaten this season.

Both coaches are confident of victory today. Christopher Smart, who is in his second season in charge at Excelsior, expects a big game with his three top players back in the side.

"Three of our top players were absent on Monday and all three will be playing against Camperdown. We are very confident going up against any team as we have a very good bunch of ladies. But we are not going to underestimate them as they have a very good coach, but the return of Latanya Stewart, Hasani Williams and captain Crystal Crawford will surely add a lot of ammunition,"

said Smart.

TOUGH BATTLE

Camperdown's coach Wayne Stewart expects a tough battle.

"Excelsior are a more rounded and experienced team as most of my girls are just coming out of the junior programme, but, nevertheless, we are coming to play hard," Stewart said.

St Catherine High should continue their winning ways in the group as they will face Ardenne, who will be hoping to bounce back after their narrow loss to Camperdown.

In Group Two, both Gaynstead High and Queen's look set to continue their winning ways after impressive victories on Monday. The Dalton Hinds-coached Gaynstead look set for another big win while the Marvette Anderson-coached Queen's will face Campion who surprised Norman Manley on Monday. The experience of the Queen's team should, however, be too much for their opponents.

The junior matches will precede the senior clashes. Gaynstead, St Catherine and St Hugh's will all be seeking their second wins.