Maples slump again as Rawlinson and Hunter edge it

Maples and Calder have all the
tools to be a contender in youth, experience and athleticism.

Last Thursday Maples showed those
features yet still lost out to 2-3 Rawlinson and Hunter in their Cayman Islands
Netball Association national women’s league division one match.

Maples, 0-3, lost a tight 30-27
match that was more about hustle and stamina than technique. Passes went at a
frantic pace from the onset as Maples took narrow scores of 8-5 and 6-7 into
the half. 

The offense had a pretty good
rhythm when it took time to set itself up. Credit for that goes to Goal Shooter
Sasha Powell and Goal Attack Emily Vaka’uta.

One of the veterans of the club,
Powell did everything a coach would want from an offensive player: she put
herself in good position, handled the ball well and took smart shots.

Vaka’uta showed her sports talent
extends well beyond the hash marks of flag football as she used her height to
get tricky shots off under pressure.

Sticking with them every step of
the way was Rawlinson and Hunter Goal Defense Nilani Perera, Wing Defense
Delicia Ebanks and Goal Keeper Tatiana Dell.

Perera looked very confident
defending her taller attackers and showed the kind of active hands needed to
stall offensive sets.

Dell meanwhile worked hard all
game, showing constant footwork and tenacity on defense.

The second half would see the
tables turn though as Maples went down 6-7 and 7-11 in the last two quarters.

Rising to the occasion for their
opponents were the dynamic trio of GS Melanie Lewis, GA Catherine Anderson and
Wing Attack Ica Eden. All three ladies controlled the tempo on offense.

Suffering headaches from the trio
were Maples defenders Denicia Cranston (Wing Defense), Keisha Solomon (GD) and
Tishana Higgins (GK).

One of the most intriguing battles
throughout the game was at mid-court between the two centres. Christian Gordon
of Maples may be a relative newbie to the league but her skills translated well
from her youth netball days.

Gordon hounded the more experienced
Alicia Dixon of Rawlinson and Hunter all over the court as loose balls and
errant passes became a test of will between the two ladies.

Maples had the only sub for the
game in Tia Whittaker.