Two of local netball’s best teams created an epic showdown last week.
In a literal clash of titans Storm Quick Cash A would earn a hard-fought 30-27 win over All Stars.
The match took place last Saturday on the netball courts at Truman Bodden Sports Complex from 6:30pm onwards.
Janet Sairsingh and Eddie Solomon were the umpires for the match.
The game was part of the Cayman Islands Netball Association Senior Women’s League.
From the get-go the game was a tight and physical affair. Passes were hard to connect and scoring was anything but easy.
In the first quarter Storm would pull ahead of AS slightly 7-6.
Much of Storm’s offense came from Goal Shooter Laverne Davis-Ebanks and Goal Attack Sophia Foster.
Davis-Ebanks showed great concentration in catching the ball under pressure and getting good balance on her shots.
Foster meanwhile was the vocal leader as she called out passes and plays to the wing. When the ball came her way oftentimes she made good decisions and took shots with a high scoring chance.
The AS offense would not be far behind as they seemed to answer every Storm score.
Goal Shooter Nicola Williams and Goal Attack Pauline Bodden kept the team in it with clutch shooting, good footwork and a great touch.
The second quarter though would see AS answer in a big way, posting eight points while limiting Storm to three.
AS got plenty of defensive pressure on the attacking players and caused a plethora of mistakes and turnovers.
Goal Keeper Latasha Nixon, Goal Defender Cynthia Collington and Wing Defense April Myers were simply a blur of red.
Their hands were active on every play and almost every long pass saw one or more of them leap up to deflect it.
As a result Storm had a whale of time keeping possession at mid-court. Centre Lashawn Davis and Wing Attack Joanne Zieger in particular put in enormous effort to keep from being pushed off the ball.
Overall both teams played with such a great amount of hustle that the halftime interval was more of a physical break than a time to strategize.
With the score reading 14-10 both clubs could be seen sitting on the bench doing their best to catch their breath, drink water and get a second wind for the second half.
As the third quarter would show both sides were intent on keeping the game at a frantic pace.
Players threw caution to the wind as they leaped and soared all over the court for loose balls and errant passes.
For AS Centre Lyneth Monteith and Wing Attack Carolyn Vivian were the epitome of hustle and both showed the kind of non-stop footwork that belies their ages.
For Storm Wing Defense Anissa Owen showed her speed and agility extended beyond the track as she was a thorn all night long for AS and their passing.
Storm would grab the edge in the third quarter posting nine points to four from AS.
With the score reading 18-19 in favour of Storm heading into the last quarter the nerves on and off court were intense.
Supporters and players alike could sense the game would be won or lost in the fourth quarter.
No one seemed to recognize that more than Storm Goal Defender Michelle Powell-Burton. Her awareness was critical in her ability to break-up passes and get to her defensive assignments on time.
Alongside Goal Keeper Emily Vaka’uta, the Storm defense rose to the occasion and held AS in check long enough for Davis-Ebanks and Foster to shoot Storm into a good spot to win.
When the regulars got tired the subs for both squads came on and made solid contributions. They kept the intensity high and the level of hustle at a break-neck pace.
For AS the subs were Molly-Ann Moore, Adena Miller, Andrea Singh, Whonda Foad and Kristen Miller.
For Storm the subs were Casey Swaby, Charlotte Hayward and Morticqua Murray.
The game would come down to a frantic series of possessions. In the end Storm would make the shots when they counted most and the defense would make the big stops.
Soon the final whistle blowed and put an end to an epic game. The final quarter would show Storm grab a slight advantage, outscoring AS 11-9.
Storm players would meet their AS counterparts at centre court and hug. Both teams had nothing but praise for the game and called it a match to remember for some time.
With the win Storm is the top dog in division one with AS being right behind. A game of this magnitude is sure to fuel both teams striving to make it far in the league and meet up again on a grander scale.
The match was one of two scheduled for the night, with the other between Bodden Town Eclipzers B and Rising Stars B being cancelled.
Two other games took place last Thursday. In division one Roma [armed with scoring tandem Tashi Wright and Kay Copeland] beat Rising Stars A 49-24. In division two Rising Star B [led by defensive trio Chrisann Maye, Trisha Rankine and Noriene Cargill] got by Bodden Town Eclipzers B 26-15.
Local netball continues forward this week with a host of other games.
Last night saw four teams in action as RS A battled Rawlinson and Hunter in division one while Maples and Calder fought team Unity in division two play.
Tomorrow will see a pair of games on at Truman. Roma takes on BTE A in division one while Storm B does battle with John Gray Mixed in division two.