Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer
The Queen's School won the junior and senior titles at the all-island netball finals of the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Digicel schoolgirls competition at Manchester High yesterday.
Queen's juniors eased past Denbigh High 29-17 to retain their all-island title but the seniors went to sudden death before defeating defending champions Holmwood 47-45.
"I am extremely happy for the win and I would first like to thank God. The girls played hard and deserve this win and I am happy for them. Holmwood are true champions as they really made us fight hard for this," said winning coach, Marvette Anderson.
Despite the loss, Carlene Graham had high praises for her girls.
"Ten years ago, we employed God as our technical director, and that's why we have been champions and I want to give him all the glory. I am proud of my girls and hats off to Queen's," Graham-Powell said.
The feature game was close throughout and the teams were locked at 34-34 at full-time, sending the match into 10 minutes of extra-time.
Earlier, Queen's, led by goalkeeper Shamera Sterling, goal shooter Shanice Beckford; and goal attack Khadijah Williams, led 17-15 at half-time and were ahead 26-20 at the end of the third quarter.
At the start of the final quarter, the Holmwood coach made a tactical change, switching Shanique Dixon from wing attack to goal shooter, replacing TracyAnn Francis. The move paid off.
Grabbed the initiative
Led by the outstanding Nicole Dixon, Holmwood had their best for period of the match and forced the match into extra time.
Queen's grabbed the initiative in the first of two five-minute periods to lead 40-37 at the first break. At the midpoint of the final quarter, Queen's extended their lead to 42-38. However, the defending champions rallied once more, and at the end of extra time, the teams were even at 43-43.
It came down to sudden death. To seal the win, one of the teams had to lead by two goals. It was the defending champions that struck first as they led 44-43 before the Queen's tied at 44-44.
After taking the lead at 46-45, the Queen's goalkeeper, Sterling, made a big interception and fed teammate Beckford, who made no mistake.
Beckford top scored for the champions with 39 goals from 51 attempts, while Williams had eight from 11. For Holmwood, Nicole Dixon had 27 from 41.