Denbigh shooting for rural double
Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer
DENBIGH High will be seeking to win the rural double when they line up in the finals of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) schoolgirls netball competition at Manchester High School today at 11 a.m.
Denbigh will go up against Manchester High in the junior final, while in the seniors championship game, they will face defending champions Holmwood Technical.
It should be a humdinger in both finals, with the most excitement expected in the senior match-up as both teams are coming off good semi-final wins. Holmwood got the better of Knox College 35-29, while Denbigh, the only unbeaten team in the competition, beat Herbert Morrison 24-19.
Both teams met in last year's final, with Holmwood picking up their eighth title in nine years after a close 37-34 win.
Confident Denbigh Team
They will be meeting a confident Denbigh team, who got the better of them a few weeks ago at the group stage.
The Janice Hansel-Walker-coached Denbigh - based on their good form all season - will start favourites, but they should be wary that Holmwood is a championship team that knows how to win. The Christiana-based institution showed that in their semi-final match against Knox, when they turned the tables after Knox had beaten them earlier in the season.
Coach Carlene Graham-Powell, who has been at the helm of all the Holmwood victories, is very confident that her team will retain the title.
"We are champions, and a champion never dies. The girls are highly motivated because a lot of people want to see us lose and this helps to motivate them. We were not at full strength earlier when we lost as one of our shooters was out with chick-V, but she is back now and the team has been strengthened once again," said Graham-Powell.
She added: "We have beaten Holmwood already this season, and we are very confident that we can do it again. The girls have been great all season, and they are really focused, and they are ready to go all the way," said Hansel-Walker.
It should also be very competitive in the junior final as both teams are unbeaten and playing on their home court. Manchester High will be hoping that this will give them the psychological edge over the defending champions.
In advancing to today's final, both teams were clinical as Manchester High breezed past Bellefield 25-15, while Denbigh humbled Titchfield 33-21.
The winners of today's matches will advance to the all-island final, where they will play the winners of the urban final, which is slated for tomorrow at St Andrew High School.