Springer seize U-15 crown
A remarkable play by finals MVP Shakeila Smith, to lock the scores with two seconds left in the final quarters, earned Springer Memorial the Secondary Schools Netball League Under-15 crown in extra time with a thrilling 34-32 victory over Combermere at the Netball Stadium Monday.
With the timekeeper counting down the seconds and Combermere leading 26-25, Springer’s desperation attempt for the tie was knocked out of bounds, which sparked a premature celebration by the Waterford team and supporters.
However, no one paid attention, with athletics coach Michael Worrell shouting from the stands for defence, as Smith had to inbound the ball from close to the pole.
Unmarked by the Combermere players, Smith calmly rebounded the ball off the pole and shot to score and lock the game at 26-all.
Ironically, Smith had only returned to the game as goal shoot after Shonte Seale went out with an injury and Khadija Domingo was moved to goal defence.
At that stage, Combermere were leading 26-24, after moving from 7-7, 12-15, and 22-21 in the first three quarters.
Some superlative plays by Sheniqua Thomas, who scored a match-high 20 goals from 27 attempts for Combermere at goal attack, had turned the advantage away from Springer at the critical second half.
With some long-range bombs, Thomas was awesome in offence and equally so in defence with her superior speed, jumps and court craft.
However, Zakya Kirton was equally productive for Springer sinking 20 from 24, and along with the contributions of Khadija Domingo, seven from nine at goal attack, and Smith’s seven from 11, they eventually denied Combermere.
Donika Payne played a sole goal shoot’s position for Combermere, who exploited Springer’s mid-game lapse of waiting for the ball, to get most of the rebounds.
However, the stunner from Smith deflated Combermere, who trailed 28-29 at the end of the first extra five minutes, and just could not get back on fire to stop Springer from capturing another sports title. (KB)