Friday, February 23, 2018

The date January 30, 2018 will forever be etched in the annals of Marlie Mount Primary School after winning its first ever major national sporting title.

Having claimed their first parish netball title in December, the primary institution, more known for its excellence in academia and the arts, took a giant step forward on Tuesday by beating Clarendon’s Portland Cottage 17-12 in the grand finale of the INSPORTS National Primary School Netball competition.

“I feel great. The season was a great one. It was hard work, sometime it gives me a lot of headache but the headaches paid off in the end. They have improved which they showed in this game and I am happy that we won,” an exuberant Tudi-An Green, head coach of the champions, told Old Harbour News at the end of the game played at the Leila Robinson Courts, at the National Stadium Complex.

The travelling party which included principal Calvin Harris, vice principals, teachers and scores of students were ecstatic at the sounding of the final whistle.

Donet Wallace (left) of Marlie Mount intercepts a pass to Portland Cottage’s Nickesha Powell (right), while teammate Gabrielle Harris looks on

Words were not enough to describe the mass elation as history has just been written.

“We are extremely elated about winning this championship. The girls have been working tirelessly over the season and this win means a lot to them and the school also, because the school is not known for sport, we are mostly known for academics… This win says a lot that we have diversity as it relates to what we offer at the school,” Harris said.

With each passing round Marlie Mount looked like the team to beat dispatching their enviable rivals with conviction.

Portsmouth in the quarterfinals would present their sternest test a difficult challenge they manage to overcome by two points.

Naggo Head were no match for them in the semi-final at GC Foster College. But a different proposition was required to overcome Portland Cottage - a team that possessed one of the best emerging talents in the form of lanky goal-attack Nickesha Powell.

Portland Cottage’s Shaneika Longmore (left) intercepts a pass to Calissa Cobourne of Marlie Mount

The Clarendon side’s route to the final was largely due to Powell’s individual brilliance. But after seeing them outclass St Elizabeth’s Burnt Savannah Primary in the semi-final, Marlie Mount’s plan was obvious.

“In training the girls said Miss ‘all we have to do is the mark the goal-attack’,” Green informed. “And that is exactly what they did. We marked her out of the game and got her confused and we won the game.”

For the first three quarters, Green’s girls executed their plan to perfection, as they led by as much as eight points at one stage.

Portland Cottage would rally in the last quarter – a nervous period for Marlie Mount players and supporters – but the damage was already done. This feat achieved, though, goes beyond just winning, the Marlie Mount principal said.

“We wanted to show our support as the management of the school… and I think it is only fitting for us to be here to represent Marlie Mount Primary and Infant,” Harris said, while adding “I want to commend the coach and the PE (Physical Education) Department because they’ve already put in plans in place for next year. We want to expand the offerings of the school as it relates to sports.”

Collin Rose (left), sports officer at the Institute of Sports presents Portland Cottage with the runner-up trophy

Harris’ counterpart Dale Edwards, the headmaster at Portland Cottage, says the competition has done a whole lot for his school based in a community more known for its flood-prone issues.

“We are very proud of what the girls have achieved. They did well. Yes, we are a bit disappointed. I must say congratulations to Marlie Mount who played extremely well.

“But I think we didn’t bring our A-game today. The girls seem a little bit nervous by the occasion, but we are still proud of what we have done. Asked how the competition has helped his school, Edwards added: “It has done a lot. I think people don’t remember Portland Cottage because of where we are from, but this has given us a lot of exposure, persons have been calling us, congratulating us… so it has really put Portland Cottage out there.”

As for Marlie Mount, a different kind of pressure awaits them next season, but Green says they will be ready.

“The plan is to start training from now because we are coming back to defend our parish title and out national title,” said Green after copping her biggest achievement as a coach.

Published in Sports

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