Cayman’s best youth netballers are back from Jamaica.
A national Under-16 girls team have been in Cayman a week since their trip to Kingston to take part in the annual Jean Pierre memorial tournament.
The tournament was in memory of the late Jean Pierre, who was a crucial figure in netball here and Jamaica.
The team, which lacked in experience taking on foreign competition, struggled but did win a game.
Among the coaches that travelled with team were local players and Cayman Islands Netball Association officials Lyneth Monteith and Molly Ann Moore.
Monteith talked about the girls’ performance.
‘The Cayman team finished sixth overall and the girls certainly improved as the tournament went on. Their lack of experience and exposure to international games was a considerable hindrance for them.’
Moore broke down the Cayman’s side play through each game.
‘The first game we played was against Guyana and Cayman won. I was very happy with the performance of our girls as they played to our expectations. We went in with a game plan and they played with everything they were shown in the past two months. We could not have asked for anything more in that game.
‘We then had to play back-to-back games against Barbados, Trinidad and Jamaica. We did not expect to win those games though the girls played very well.
‘In the games against St. Lucia and Dominica, we felt the girls could have won those games as we were on the seem level as they were, however in the first quarters we did not play as expected as the girls were very nervous in those games. They did not start to play until the final quarters and that was too late. Overall I felt that the girls all played very well considering this was the first time an U16 team has travelled since 2001.’
Cayman took away their fair share of accolades from the Jamaican netball community. Rosemarie Wilson was named the most valuable player of the Cayman team and was voted among the top 16 players in the competition.
Leanna Benjamin also received the award for most accurate shooter as she hit 36 of 43 shots.
For Monteith the girls did exceptionally well in spite of their youth (all are under 14 years old). In addition special mention was made of Brittany Mobley.
Moore also had praise for the girls.
‘Rosemarie out-shined everyone in the tournament and Brittany played excellent games as well.’
The Cayman team consisted of some 11 girls: Shillo Scott – Cayman Brac High School; Brittany Mobley, Tianna Duty, Hailee Robinson – Cayman Prep High School; Liana Benjamin, Renee Lindo, Adrian Mackey, Kiana Rankine – John Gray High School; Lexie Solomon, RoseMarie Wilson – PACE High School and Sarah Hale of St. Ignatius.
All are no strangers to local netball with players like Renee Lindo and Lexie Solomon playing for netball clubs like Rising Stars.
The trip was meant to be an educational one for Cayman’s youth and both coaches had much to say on what Cayman learned.
‘I felt they learned playing netball at a high level is not easy,’ Moore said. ‘You have to be fit, play to win and never give up.’
‘We have continued our training and the girls have recognized the need for fitness, accuracy in shooting and putting skills learned into the game as a means of improving,’ Monteith said.
The girls are slated to play abroad later this year, possibly in July or October.
The next big happening on the local netball scene is the final of the CINA Knockout tournament. Monteith, Pauline Bodden and the Butler Properties All Stars go against Marcia Moiten, Wendy Fisher and Rising Stars.
That match takes place tomorrow night at 6:30pm at the netball courts at Truman Bodden.