St Cather­ine up­set Queen’s

The Star (Jamaica) - - SPORTS - RAY­MOND GRA­HAM

DE­SPITE the pres­ence of their three na­tional se­nior rep­re­sen­ta­tives, who just re­turned from the Fast5 Net­ball World Cham­pi­onships in New Zea­land this week, Queen’s could not deny St Cather­ine in the fea­ture Group II se­nior net­ball sec­ond- round en­counter, at the Leila Robin­son net­ball courts yes­ter­day.

The Phyl­lis Thomp­son- coached St Cather­ine shocked the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons 29- 24 for their third con­sec­u­tive win to move on top of the group with nine points, with two round of matches to go.

Two of the three top play­ers, goal at­tack Khadi­jah Wil­liams and goal­keeper Shamerea Ster­ling, were in­serted into the Queen’s start­ing line- up, but it was ev­i­dent that both were jet- lagged fol­low­ing their ar­rival in the is­land the pre­vi­ous day, as they looked a shadow of them­selves.

Not fazed by their pres­ence, it was a very con­fi­dent St Cather­ine that started the game, as goal de­fence Jamilla Tul­loch along with goal­keeper Alexis Fran­cis were in bril­liant form, break­ing up sev­eral at­tacks to race into a 6- 3 first- quar­ter lead.

St Cather­ine turned up the pres­sure in the third quar­ter and con­tin­ued to break up the at­tacks from their op­po­nents as they stretched their lead to 20- 13 at the end of this stanza. With their other na­tional se­nior player, Shan­ice Beck­ford, com­ing into the game in the fi­nal quar­ter, it proved to be the best stanza for the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons, as they outscored their op­po­nents 11- 9, but it was a bit late as the Span­ish Town team held on for a good 29- 24 win.

“This was a good win for the team as I told them that we wanted to ce­ment our semi- fi­nal berth to­day ( yes­ter­day) and not to wait un­til our next match on Fri­day. We were not fazed by the sev­eral na­tional play­ers on the Queen’s team as this is a team game and if there is no co­he­sion, you will not be suc­cess­ful,” said win­ning coach Thomp­son. In other se­nior matches, for­mer cham­pi­ons St An­drew High re­mained un­beaten in Group I, as they de­feated Mona 26- 21 for their third win in a row. Also re­main­ing un­beaten in the group were Holy Child­hood, who played to a 25- 25 tie with Cam­per­down. Also win­ning were St Jago High, who de­feated Al­pha 37- 23, Nor­man Manley who stopped Ar­denne 36- 26 and St Hugh’s who dis­missed Ex­cel­sior 38- 18.

The penul­ti­mate set of matches in the sec­ond round will be played at the same venue to­mor­row.

Ja­maica’s cen­tre Khadi­jah Wil­liams.

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