Rising Stars look to sparkle

In Cayman the rainy season is normally a tricky time for local sports.

Schedules get cluttered with cancellations and postponements while games change as rapidly as the elements.

Netball action

Netball action continues again tonight. Photo: Matthew Yates

Local netball is no different having been affected by the string of heavy rainfall that has past through these islands.

Tonight, if the weather cooperates, should see the sport get back on track with its next round of games.

The netball courts at Truman Bodden Sports Complex are slated to come alive with a quartet of interesting teams.

At 6:30pm team Unity goes into action against Rising Stars World Gym while Roma does battle with Rawlinson and Hunter.

All are in the 2009 Cayman Islands Netball Association Mixed League.

Unity has traditionally been one of the more fun-loving sides in local netball, valuing camaraderie more than the final results.

However in this competition the side has shown considerable promise.

In particular the team has shined on the defensive end, keeping themselves in most games with solid effort and relentless footwork.

It was only a few weeks ago that the side played one of its best games in the competition.

Unity kept a talented Rising Stars Money Gram team in check, limiting the likes of Felix Manzanares and Damian McField to only 11 points.

Much of the credit for the team’s improved defense goes to Sophia Wilson and Xanya Smith with a pair of men making big contributions in Kiegel Atkinson and Wayne Fyne.

Unity’s opponent meanwhile is one of the most colourful teams in the mixed league. With players boasting all sorts of sports backgrounds Rising Stars are extremely athletic.

The names on Rising Stars World Gym speak for themselves: there’s netball stalwart Tara Ramoon, basketball starlet Letanya Thompson and one of Cayman’s most avid sportsmen in Collin Anglin.

As she has been for a number of seasons, Ramoon leads the charge on defense. Her youth and passion for the game translate into good positioning and active hands that make getting an offense in gear a tall order.

Up front the Stars twinkle with Anglin and Thompson. Both have a vast basketball background that translates into a potent combination of good footwork and solid hand-eye coordination.

Where they really excel is in their flexibility as both can hold their own on defense if need be.

Eddie Solomon and Pauline Bodden serve as umpires for the game.

In the other game many eyes will be on Roma, who have lived up to the hype as one of the better teams in local netball.

The predominantly Jamaican side gives clubs all kinds of trouble with its mixture of athleticism, experience and team-work.

One look at their usual starting line-up and it’s hard to say where the weak link is on the green and yellow squad.

Basketball sharp-shooter Shawn Smith and netball veteran Nicole Pringle lead the attack, human highlight reel Clifton Ricketts mans the middle and football enthusiast Zoenief Walker and netball star Paula Hughes anchor the defense.

Even their substitutes are highly talented with the likes of Kay Copeland and Michael Dehaney.

Adding to the intimidation level is the fact that all have played netball for over two seasons together and show it with organized and fluid play.

Lastly Rawlinson and Hunter have been a steadily improving side. The side has gained ground in local netball with some solid runs to end their various seasons.

Last season the side made good strides late under the direction of Dan Bond, Matt Cineen and Catherine Anderson.

This year’s squad looks like it can be a threat in spite of some new faces and a developing level of team chemistry.

The big names on the squad may not be clear but the side is all about playing within themselves and making quick decisions on and away from the ball.

Lyneth Monteith and Sophia Foster will serve as umpires for the match. Both do not miss a penalty thus ball possession and infraction calls could be a big factor in the game.

Tonight’s games come after matches last Thursday and Saturday were cancelled.