It has taken a number of months but Roma sports club are right where they want to be: in contention for another national netball championship.
Roma A are set to take on All Stars A at 7.15pm on Saturday 14 May. The Truman Bodden Sports Complex netball courts will host the two clubs, who are playing in the final for the 2011 open league put on by the Cayman Islands Netball Association.
The contest serves as the latest chapter in a tense rivalry, The green and yellow warriors edged All Stars in last year’s championship match after being runners-up in years past. All of the regular season games between the two this year were tight, with Roma winning on those occasions. Many players like Roma’s star Goal Shooter Kay Copeland are not bothered by the history between both clubs.
“I don’t feel fazed at all,” Copeland said. “Anyone can come out and win but we just have to do our thing. I feel we will win again and bring home a championship. Our semi-final game was more competitive last year than this year. I feel good (heading into the final) as that match (against Maples) was not a pressure game. Mind you Maples gave a valiant effort but the game was a test.
“I’ve been playing netball here the last four years after coming from Mandeville six or seven years ago. I used to train with the Jamaican national netball team and our team now is very solid. I especially like the Wing Attack side of it as the players are always making safe passes.”
Roma stamped their ticket to the final with a 39-14 victory over Maples and Calder. The win came after an unbeaten regular season campaign for Roma. Among those encouraged with the side’s form thus far is team captain and manager Stacy-Ann Dehaney. Usually the side’s starting WA, Dehaney states the only issue for her club could be fitness.
“Like Nicola (Pringle) said (earlier in the season), the only thing that can beat us is fitness,” Dehaney said. “We have to keep our heads, play our game and not get into playing the other team’s game. If we do that the championship is ours.”
Roma sports club president Robert Sairsingh is also impressed with the side’s form up to now. He states whether the side wins or loses on Saturday he is pleased with the team’s efforts in 2011. “We’re happy to again field teams in football and netball,” Sairsingh said.
“We’re also happy we can field youth teams in both competitions. As a club we’re earning more recognition lately. In football for instance we got to the Digicel Cup final in the Premier League, fielded an Under-13 side and we’re encouraged to field an U21 team. “I’m very proud of the netball performances. We’ve achieved good success with limited resources.
As a club we want to do everything in our power to stay on track. For the A team to go unbeaten and get this far in the playoffs is very good.”