Hughes steps up for brilliant Roma

In sports results can say a lot of things.

They can point to a great team and they can show the impact special players make.

Sometimes though they don’t show the amount of effort a team gave and that is the case with Rawlinson and Hunter.

The squad was on the losing end of a 26-9 score-line against a fearsome Roma side last Thursday.

On the surface the match was one of Roma’s dominance.

The side jumped all over their opponents 13-3 in the first half.

The third quarter would be the game’s tightest period with a 5-4 score that barely favoured Roma.

However the veteran club put the game away in the fourth quarter with an 8-2 margin.

Offensively Roma was clearly the more organized and potent side. Thanks to the likes of Shawn Smith and Paula Hughes the team had great rhythm and showcased a deft shooting touch.

Smith was on target as always and constantly ready to shoot. Hughes, who normally steadies the defense, had great touch and vision to open up many chances for Roma.

On the defensive side of the ball everything came to a halt with Marvin Gordon and Carrie Barnett altering all offensive trips.

Gordon was most impressive as he altered shots and kept his hands active. Barnett meanwhile did an admirable job after missing a couple of games showing great intensity and relentless footwork.

To top it off Roma controlled things in the middle of the court with the three-headed monster of Sudan Powell, Damion Claire and Zoenief Walker.

Powell, the team captain, lead by example as she had her hand on just about every Roma ball. Her willingness to roam the wing was huge in Roma’s edge in ball possession.

Claire meanwhile turned back the clock and played like a young man. He was all over the place and did well to keep the ball moving towards goal.

Walker was her normal active self. There wasn’t a pass she didn’t hamper or a ball she didn’t swarm.

Yet for all the positives for Roma, much must be made of the tenacity that Rawlinson and Hunter showcased.

On the whole the team hustled well and only an overall lack of positioning and chemistry prevented a closer score.

Props go up front to the combination of Jeff Dyson and Catherine Anderson.

Dyson had a rough time of it as he lacked knowledge of the game and struggled to get in position.

But he showed the kind of leaping ability that could serve him well in future.

Anderson is arguably the heart of the team and had a starring role with the squad last season.

As always she did a lot of the little things right on the court however her shooting aim would ultimately betray her.

The stats may not show it but Keisha Terry, Richard Terry and athletic sub Richard Brown made a decent attempt on the defensive side of the ball.

Terry, a new-found flag football star, carried over her athleticism to the court with some fantastic leaping grabs and catches.

With her high stamina Terry could be the key piece for defensive stands late in games.

Richard Terry meanwhile didn’t look out of place for an older statesman. For the most part he got in front of shooters and affected their visibility.

In time, once he plays with his team-mates more, he could be a decent help-out defender.

One of the more surprising players for the squad was Brown. A true newcomer to the world of netball, it was obvious his understanding of the game is a work in progress.

However his physique and overall fitness shined as he stuck with some of the more athletic players quite well.

One of the strongest parts of the team was in the middle. Holding their own were Alicia Dixon, Justin Pierre and Keisha Anglin.

All boast a substantial sports background. Dixon is a talented prodigy in flag football and netball, Pierre is a solid footballer and Anglin plies his skills to flag football and basketball.

Dixon looked the most impressive of the bunch. Her familiarity with netball was evident as she routinely intercepted passes and clogged passing lanes.

Pierre meanwhile showed the kind of trademark hustle and footwork that usually serves him well on the pitch.

Anglin looked at home on the defensive end. She may not be the best passer or the fastest player out there but she shined defending man-to-man.

Thursday’s match comes after the Rising Stars World Gym-Unity game was rescheduled and played on Tuesday.

Rising Stars won a tense game 31-23 with Eddie Solomon keeping player emotions in check.

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