Schoolgirls’ netball heats up with semis
The Leila Robinson netball courts will be in the spotlight on Friday, as after three months of competition, the two top Junior and Senior teams in the Urban ISSA schoolgirls netball competition will be known after semifinals action.
It will be the Juniors who will be in action first. At 2 p.m, defending champions St. Hugh's High School take on The Queen's School, while in the other game, Wolmer's Girls' School face Jose Marti High.
Defending champions St Catherine High School will battle parish neighbours Jose Marti High, and Gaynstead High will tackle Norman Manley High in Senior action at 3 p.m.
The winners in both sections will book their spots in next Thursday's finals, slated for the same venue.
Unlike the Junior semifinals, which are expected to be very close, it should be different when the Seniors take to the courts, as defending champions St Catherine High and 2021 champions Gaynstead High are odds-on favourites to win and advance to the final.
The Phyllis Thompson-coached St Catherine will be involved in a parish derby with 2021 finalists Jose Marti High, whose coach Philip Pinnock will hope his Juniors, in their early match, pull off a victory to motivate the Seniors.
However, they will need more than that, as it will be difficult to deny the defending champions a spot in their second consecutive final.
After brushing aside their opponents, Norman Manley, by 20 points in a preliminary round match three weeks ago, it should be cruise control for the Dalton Hinds-coached Gaynstead.
The Wayne Wallace-coached Norman Manley have inserted some of their Juniors in the Seniors to upset their rivals, but it will take more than that to turn around their preliminary round defeat.
Meanwhile, both Junior games are expected to go down to the wire, as it has been a very competitive season among the teams.
The Nardia Hanson-coached St Hugh's, despite a narrow one-point loss to Wolmer's in their only defeat of the season, will be hoping to get by a feisty Queen's, coached by the veteran Marvette Anderson, a former national coach. Queen's are yet to taste defeat this season and hope to maintain their unbeaten run.
It is the first time for Jose Marti Juniors at this stage of the competition, and, despite their only defeat of the season in Monday's rescheduled match against Queen's, they will be hoping to create more history and advance to their first final with a win over Wolmer's.
It is the first time in many years that the Tracyann Griffiths-coached Wolmer's are in this position, and they will be hoping to keep alive their unbeaten tag this season. Most of their team members are from the under-14 team, who were finalists last season and will not be short of chemistry.