Roma batter Unity as Ogiers turn tide

Roma have one of the premier squads in netball and the side flexed their muscle last Thursday.

In a game that was more of a statement game than an actual contest Roma beat down team Unity 48-4.

Both squads play in the Cayman Islands Netball Association Mixed League.

The netball courts at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex were the site of the epic game from 6:30pm.

A crowd of some 30 excited onlookers came out to watch the action. Most of their anxiety was seeing how well Roma would do as they came into the game undefeated at 3-0.

Roma would not disappoint as the squad was simply on another level. Every aspect of the game they executed well and in the end they outplayed their opponents.

Leading the way for the mostly Jamaican side was talented centre Clifton Ricketts. He caused all sorts of havoc. On offense he constantly made the right pass and put his team in a spot to score.

Unity’s defense would have their hands full with Ricketts. Centre Alex Dunn and wingers Juliet Bonito and Juliet Mullings would struggle to keep the ball out of Ricketts’ hands.

On defense his athleticism and leaping ability shined as he reached up and got his hands on nearly every pass his way.

His play was one of the biggest reasons why Unity’s goal attack of David Wilson and Keisha Porter had a lack of shot attempts.

Ricketts was truly a highlight reel all on his own as he never stopped hustling and his energy on the court was amazingly consistent.

Ricketts had plenty of help from his wingers. Sudan Powell and Paula Hughes moved well without the ball and constantly found ways to lose their defenders to get a pass.

Their play made Goal Shooter Shawn Smith and Goal Assist Nicola Pringle a busy pair on the night.

Pringle could be seen running feverishly around the perimeter of the basket, trying to shake off defenders and get the ball.

Meanwhile Smith would put his tall frame to work. When he got the ball he would spot up close to the basket and drill home shot after shot.

Some crowd members thought before the match that Roma would suffer without local cricketer and normal Goal Shooter Ainsley Hall. But Smith’s play on the night put those doubts to rest.

The well-lubed offense of Roma constantly put Unity on the back foot and put excessive pressure on defensive duo Callie Barnet and Marva Perry.

Ultimately both sides played a good game. Umpire Lyneth Monteith didn’t blow many whistles or call loads of infractions leaving the players to decide the game’s outcome.

With the win Roma improved to 4-0 and are in a tie with First Caribbean for first place while Unity drops to 0-4 and are the only team without a win.

In the other match of the night Ogiers would get their first win with a sound win over Rawlinson and Hunter by a score of 22-15.

Ogiers made major tweaks to the squad for the match and seemed to get the right formula.

Wingers Kim Smith (known more for her play in flag football) and Mariskca Blackman were the difference-makers.

Their passing, defense and overall hustle allowed Ogiers to get the breaks they needed.

On offense Goal Shooter Mark Wellon reaped benefits as he got the touches he needed to confidently fire shots home on occasion.

Defensively the new pairing of Rochelle Webb and Delroy Irving enjoyed the extra help as both tried the whole game to get on the same page.

For R&H the players had another game where they hustled hard but came up just short of a win.

Dan Bond and Catherine Anderson were a hard-working duo up-front as they tried to get in the right spots to shoot.

Centre Matt Cineen and winger Kassia Webb did their best to get in on the offense but often had to focus their attention on defense.

Tati Dell and Spike Anderson did a decent job in defense but they needed extra help to keep R&H in the game.

With the win Ogiers are now 1-3 while R&H are just 1-4.

Tomorrow’s matches have been postponed until a later date due to the inclement weather affecting Cayman.

See next week’s Compass for the results of all of the games.