Finalists keep positive

There is saying in sports
that no one remembers second place. Thus it would be easy to write-off the
efforts of Rising Stars Money Gram and the Butler Properties All Stars.

Both teams lost in the
finals for the Cayman Islands Netball Association senior women’s open league.
Rising Stars fell 34-11 to the Cayman National Bank All Stars in the division
two championship. Butler Properties was upset 40-30 by Roma in the division one
finale.

However the sides created
quite a stir this year. Rising Stars turned around a forgettable regular season
that saw the side finish fourth at 1-5. They used young talents like Lexie
Solomon, Letanya Thompson (both girls are also stand-outs in local basketball)
and Glennique Bodden to upset the unbeaten Bodden Town Eclipzers in the
playoffs. Butler Properties had an amazing regular season, finishing atop the
standings unbeaten. Guiding the epic run was stalwarts Adena Miller, Carolyn
Vivian and Pauline Bodden.

Netball association press
officer Orvin Palacio doubles as team manager for Rising Stars netball club. He
was at the Money Gram match supporting his wife and head coach Tricia
Skyers-Palacio. He states he is happy that two Rising Stars teams were in the
playoffs (the other team, Rising Stars World Gym, were third in division one at
3-5 and were eliminated in the post-season by the Butler All Stars).

“It feels good that both
teams were in the playoffs,” Palacio said. “The division one team was figured
to keep things on a high note after bringing their A game in the playoffs last
year. They may have came third and been knocked out early but it’s a good thing
for the club. The Money Gram team is totally different this year from last
year. They were a very young team that could make anything happen in games. We
were looking for them to create some upsets and I enjoyed the season.”

Meanwhile Nicola Williams
steadied the Butler All Stars attack in the final as the starting Goal Shooter.
She was quick to give Roma credit for their victory.

“It came down to mental
preparation and being mentally fit,” Williams said. “They came out and
capitalized on their chances. It’s all about the mental game. They must get
credit for fighting because we were all tired. We couldn’t break through that
(pain) barrier but we played a good game and they won. It was a good match and
even though we’re rivals they deserved to win and I have to give them credit.

“I also give credit to our
defenders Goal Keeper Cynthia (Collington) and Goal Defense Kayon Clarke. They
stepped up their games throughout the season.”

Williams, who fought through
a hamstring injury in the match and throughout the season, has been a steady
face on the All Stars squads for years. She has been on a number of contending
teams and states this year’s final result was disheartening.

“It was a disappointing year because we didn’t prepare for
the final,” Williams said. “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail and Roma
was a more cohesive team than we were, in spite of all our experience. The
season started well but we lost momentum, partly due to the breaks in the
season.”

sports story

Letanya shot well for Rising Stars.
Photo: Matthew Yates
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