In sports it is not easy to play for a runner-up spot. A group of local netball teams are about to find that out first hand.
The netball courts at Truman Bodden Sports Complex will feature a pair of matches on Thursday 5 May. The games are third place contests featuring the losers of last month’s semi-finals for the 2011 open league put on by the Cayman Islands Netball Association. At 6.30pm Rising Stars A takes on Maples and Calder A while Rising Stars B battles Unity A.
Rising Stars missed out on a chance to have a squad in either the championship or consolation final. The A team lost a tough match to All Stars A 33-29 in spite of solid play from netball prodigy Rosemarie Wilson. Meanwhile the B team, which featured hustle players Letanya Thompson and Mariska Lopez, were crushed by All Stars B 32-12.
Being in the third place contests comes as both squads held their own in the regular season. The A side was second in the standings with a 7-1 mark and were in the top five in scoring (netting 254 points) and defence (allowing 178 points). The B unit struggled in sixth place with a 2-6 record thanks to the third-worst offence (scoring 168 points) and a porous defence (allowing 292 points, second-worst in the competition).
Maples were taken out by Roma A 39-14 while Unity A were defeated by Roma B 24-15. Maples finished fourth with a 5-3 mark and sporting a third-ranked defence that allowed 168 goals. By contrast, Unity had a 1-8 mark.
Maples team captain Christina Gordon, 25, is upbeat about the game this Thursday. She reiterated her comments from early in the season as she feels this week is another chance for her players to shine.
“We have some good, new players on the side in Tonicia Wilson, Carrie Bennett and Latoya Nixon,” Gordon said. “Most of them are old-school talent, players that go way back. On the court we give it our best and at the end of the day that’s all you can do. “Overall we did really well, especially compared to last year. We’re a far cry from being second to last in the 2010 league. Clearly we’re a better team this year.”