Double delight - Gaynstead secure junior and senior urban netball titles
Gaynstead High School won a historic double in schoolgirl netball at the Leila Robinson Netball Courts yesterday as the Dalton Hinds-coached teams took the junior and senior titles at the ISSA Urban Schoolgirl Netball Competition yesterday.
The junior team defeated Norman Manley High 29-27 before their seniors carved out a 33-27 win over St Catherine to secure the school's first senior title.
Hinds, who saw his teams come close last year before losing to St Catherine and Excelsior in the respective finals, was, as expected, pleased with the double success.
"We have been waiting three years for this, and this is testimony to our excellent programme at Gaynstead. The girls have worked hard all season, and I am happy the younger ones were here to see this. Gaynstead will rule supreme for years to come," said Hinds.
In the senior encounter, Gaynstead, motivated by their junior team's earlier success, took early control of the game, rushing into a 10-3 first-quarter lead, much to the delight of the vociferous Gaynstead supporters.
However, it was a different affair in the second quarter as St Catherine rallied, scoring seven unanswered goals late on to come within one point as Gaynstead took a slim 15-14 lead into the half-time break.
With national player goalkeeper Latanya Wilson making several crucial interceptions to nullify St Catherine's attacks, they regained control of the game in the third quarter. Despite another gallant effort at a comeback, St Catherine found it difficult to cut into the lead, with Gaynstead going into the third quarter 26-20 in front.
St Catherine found themselves playing with six players as centre Chevelle-Lee Thompson was disqualified from the game for unsportsmanlike behaviour late in the final quarter.
Playing with only six players was always going to be difficult for the Phyllis Thompson-coached team, with Gaynstead making the most of the advantage to pull off their win.
Earlier, it was a very exciting affair in the junior final, with both teams putting on a spectacle for the fans.
St Catherine and Excelsior had earlier finished third in the respective categories.
St Catherine stopped St Hugh's 27-21 in the junior competition, while Excelsior had a 36-31 win over The Queen's School in senior action.