Stars shine with hustle

It was not a pretty way to end the season but Rising Stars B completed their 2011 campaign with a hard-fought victory.

The club beat a resilient Unity A team 28-19 in a third place match at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex netball courts. The match was put on by the Cayman Islands Netball Association as part of the 2011 open league. With the victory Rising Stars place third in the consolation segment of the post-season while Unity end up fourth.

The match, like all interesting playoff affairs, was tight most of the way. Rising Stars had advantages of 7-4 in the first quarter and 8-6 in the second quarter before Unity levelled the score at 6-6 in the third period. Rising Stars pulled away in the fourth quarter 7-3. Both teams gave maximum effort in the contest and played with great intensity.

Unity showed spurts of offensive brilliance thanks to the shooting of Goal Attack Donnalee Small. Her strikes, both from long and short distance, would compliment the efforts of Goal Shooter Melisa Morris and Wing Attack Shelly Williams. The trio constantly challenged the Rising Stars defence of Wing Defence Dedra Christian, Goal Defence Felisha McFarlane, Goal Keeper Tennille Rankine and sub Mariska Lopez.

However that pressure would not be enough to overcome the Rising Stars offence. The side had their moments when turnovers and errant passes would stall shot attempts. But the likes of GS Letanya Thompson, GA Lexie Solomon, Wing Attack Lethea Rankine and Centre Shanai Allen fought through it and made good on many chances. Special mention goes to Alexis Carias and Kiana Rankine who kept the offence rolling in limited minutes.

The Unity defence held their own with WD Tanesha Scafe, GD Niomi Knight, GK Onicia Mitchell and C Karina Wright. But with only one sub, Sheree McKenzie, fatigue would be their stumbling block.