Tue | Sep 29, 2020

Rural heavyweights clash in ISSA netball finals

Published:Thursday | December 5, 2019 | 3:52 AMRaymond Graham/Gleaner Writer

Following double success last year, Denbigh High will be hoping for a repeat when the ISSA Rural Area Schoolgirl Netball finals get under way today, starting at 1:00p.m. at the Manchester High School netball court.

Their juniors will go up against first-time finalists Glenmuir High, before the seniors go into battle with many-time champions, Holmwood Technical one hour later.

A year ago, the Carline Graham-Powell-coached Holmwood girls were favourites to take home the senior title, but they were surprised by a gutsy performance by the Denbigh team. Following impressive wins all season, including a big 54-21 semi-final victory over Manchester High, Holmwood will be hoping to go all the way this time around.

“Last year we had a little bump on the way, we have worked on that problem and we are pretty confident that we are going to win this time around,” she Graham-Powell.

The coach stated that her players will arrive with experienced and is expecting this to play a big part in today’s result.

“We have several players from the National under-16 and development teams playing for us and this will definitely make a big difference,” she said.

This will be the sixth final in a row for the Janice Walker-coached Denbigh team and, like her Holmwood opponents, she is also confident of a victory today, after easily getting by Porus High 46-28 in their semi-final assignment.

“I am very confident that the girls will retain their title, but we are not taking anything for granted, as Holmwood did well to reach the final; and after beating them last year, I know they will be coming hard, but we are ready for the challenge,” said Walker.

The junior clash should also deliver a mouth-watering contest, as both teams are expected to come out swinging from the opening whistle.

Denbigh will be hoping to hold on to their title, while Glenmuir will be hoping to create history in what is their first appearance in the final.

Denbigh defeated Manchester High 32-23 and Glenmuir were clinical in stopping Green Pond 39-23.

“I am very proud of our girls so far, but the job is not yet finished as after success earlier this season in winning the ISSA under-14 title, they are hungry for more success and will not be fazed by the occasion,” said Glenmuir’s head coach, Ryan Reid.

Despite beating their opponents earlier in the season, Walker stated that her Denbigh team will not be complacent.

“We had beaten them earlier but this is now a final and I expect them to be much stronger this time around, but we are ready for the occasion,” Walker stated.

Action today will get under way at 11:00 a.m.with the third place play-off for the juniors, as Manchester High will take on Green Pond before Manchester goes up against Porus High among the seniors.