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BARBADOS netball - Barbados Secondary Schools' Netball League Under-19 Competition

Date November 23, 2005 by SHERRYLYN CLARKE

SPRINGER MEMORIAL, the undisputed queens of secondary school sports, added another trophy to the cabinet when they sealed their seventh straight title in the Barbados Secondary Schools' Netball League Under-19 Competition yesterday.

For 30 minutes, it seemed as though Queen's College could pull off a major upset and silence the defending champions, but Springer Memorial slipped away to a convincing 28-16 victory.

Limited to fewer then seven goals in each of the first three quarters, they scored 11 in the last, easily their most dominant period of the match.

Both teams had vocal cheering sections at the Netball Stadium, and the game was a close one for the first three quarters.

Springer led 5-4 and extended it to 15-9 by half-time, but that was cut to only 17-13 after three stanzas.

The game was one of the most competitive in recent years. National Sports Council coach Margaret Cutting sat on the sidelines holding her head. She coached both teams, wished them well and took a neutral corner to watch the match.

Goal shoot Paula Babb and goal attack Shakera Springer - just back from senior national duty in Jamaica - had a good understanding, and kept Springer's defenders Kathrina Williams and Janeice Clarke on their toes. Babb scored seven from ten, but when she was switched to centre the game started to slip away from Queen's College.

Although the taller Tamara Harewood scored five from six, she was not as confident, and it showed when she went up against Clarke. Williams stepped up her game a notch to shut down Springer (four from five) and earned the Most Valuable Player Trophy in the process.

Then the two-goal deficit widened. Springer Memorial soaked up the pressure like true champions and came out blazing in the fourth. Abeje Carrington remained solid at goal shoot, missing only three of her 24 attempts, and goal attack Shanise Banfield scored seven from nine.

"Obviously it is a great feeling. Seven years in a row is no easy feat," said physical education teacher and senior national captain Julie Phillips. "The girls were determined to work hard and that hard work really paid off.

"After the cut was made, we have five going away on the Barbados Under-16 team. We were concentrating on winning the trophy and after winning here, taking it to another level."

Those players are Williams, Carrington, Banfield, Clarke and Shakera Boxill. Queen's College also have players in the squad, Springer and Shaunette Alleyne.

Queen's College have made steady strides in recent years in the competition, and Lona Rouse said this was because of consistent coaching, as well as encouraging the girls to join clubs and play in the Barbados Netball Association's competitions.

The third-place game was awarded to last year's runners-up the Alleyne School.

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