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November 29, 2012
Star Sport


Giant-killing Fogo hunt history
Richard Bryan, Star Writer

Holmwood netball coach Carlene Graham-Powell

Tomorrow's Digicel/ISSA rural area netball finals, to be hosted at Manchester High in Mandeville at noon, will feature a new kid on the block, Fogo Road, against the established kingpins of the sport, Holmwood Technical.

The Clarendon-based school was upgraded to high-school level just six years ago. Their previous top achievement in the sporting arena came two years ago in track and field, at the National Stadium, when Kevon Robinson won the Class Two 800m.

Fogo were the toast of the semi-finals on Tuesday in Mandeville, when they surprised and powered past Denbigh 34-30. It was considered a giant stride, having previously only made the quarter-finals with their junior team last year.

In fact, when their contest against Denbigh began, most of the spectators and the press were already focused on the other semi-final in progress, on an adjacent court featuring parish rivals Holmwood Technical and Manchester High.

A spirited start to the match, however, was maintained throughout as Fogo lead all quarters 10-5, 18-13, 25-22, exacted timely revenge on Denbigh, who had beaten them 26-19 in their lone contest from the preliminary zone stage, and ending that team's chances of regaining the title they lost last year. Later, Nicole Mais-Bennett, Fogo's coach, explained the victory was due to doing their homework. There was a particular pride in beating Denbigh.

"We played them in the first round and they gave us a good beating but we knew we had to improve our defence and that was the crucial difference," Bennett said.

Against Holmwood, she admitted they would have to raise their game.

"We are very excited now but we know we have work to do."

It will certainly take more than enthusiasm to upstage a Holmwood team that flattened a Manchester team, which many had perceived as preseason favourites. The parting words of long-standing Holmwood coach, Carlene Graham-Powell, should serve as tangible warning.

"We came expecting Manchester to give us their best game and they did, but the experience of Holmwood should never be taken lightly. We work hard and we are the fittest team in the competition so anybody who is going to come and take our title has to come good."

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