Queen's Schoolhunt double - Holmwood, Denbigh ready for all-island battle

Published: Thursday | December 5, 2013 Comments 0

 Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer

CORPORATE Area champions The Queen's School will be seeking the double as the finals of the all-island Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Digicel schoolgirls netball competition will climax at Manchester High School today.

The Marvette Anderson-coached junior team, the defending champions, will take on rural champions Denbigh High at 1:30 p.m. This will be followed by the senior final as Queen's challenge defending champions, Holmwood Technical.

After easily dispatching St Hugh's High in the urban final, Queen's are aiming to avenge last year's defeat in Kingston against Holmwood.

"I am expecting a keenly contested game as Holmwood are the defending champions and we expect them to come out and play hard," said Anderson. "But we are aware of what we need to do and the girls are very confident and ready to go."

They have three national senior players in their lineup - Shanice Beckford, Khadijah Williams and Shamera Sterling - who have been impeccable in their last two matches. With the reliable pair of Priscilla Thomas at centre and wing defence Shalloy Walker, the urban champions will start favourites.

After a nail-biting three-goal win over Denbigh on Monday to retain their senior title, Holmwood's coach Carlene Graham-Powell is not fazed by their star-studded opponent.

"We are champions and they are the team that want what we have. Our girls are ready to execute and we are not fazed by their national players as we also have national players and the girls are extremely confident, as we have only lost two players from last year's winning team," said Graham-Powell.

The wily and versatile Nicole Dixon at goal attack, who has marshalled her team well for the past three seasons, will be Holmwood's key, along with centre Naleika Watson and wing attack Shanique Dixon and goal shooter Tracy Ann Francis.

Among the juniors, Queen's are unbeaten for the past two years. Their goal shooter, the very tall and accurate Simone Gordon, has been in immaculate form all season and the national Under-21 player looks set for another good performance.

"This is a final and I expect Denbigh to come good and we are not concentrating on being the defending champions as we are going out there to play hard and win," Anderson said.

After avenging their second round defeat by beating Knox in the rural final, Denbigh's coach Christine Bartley is looking forward for another good game.

"I expect a tough game, as we have nothing to lose and as long as the girls go out there and execute, I think Queen's can be beaten ... it is the team that turns up with their 'A' game on the day that will be victorious and I am hoping that it is our team," said Bartley.

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