Five years ago Roma United Sports Club were considering forming a netball team. Now they are the elite team in the sport.
Roma claimed their second straight national championship last Saturday. The side took down All Stars A 40-34 at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex netball courts. The match served as the 2011 open league final, put on by the Cayman Islands Netball Association. The victory cements what was a golden night for the yellow and green warriors as the B team claimed the consolation cup.
It would not be easy for Roma A though. The side was actually behind by two points at half-time as the scores read 8-11 and 8-7 in the first and second quarters respectively. Credit for that advantage goes to the All Stars attacking core of Goal Shooter Pauline Bodden, Goal Attack Stacy Reid-Satahoo, Wing Attack Carolyn Vivian and Centre Kimesha Walters.
Bodden came into the match confident in the offence and that exuberance saw her nail most of her initial shots. What she missed Reid-Satahoo cleaned up with another dazzling offensive effort. Vivian, who was out for most of the season, showed little court rust and Walters was the catalyst for all of the offensive opportunities.
However the tide turned in the second half. Roma would enjoy edges of 14-10 and 10-6 in the third and fourth quarters respectively. Granted the All Stars defence of Wing Defence Keisha Solomon, Goal Defence Kayon Clarke and Goal Keeper Cynthia Collington did make mistakes and fatigue seemed to be a factor.
However, for all of their hustle, the bottom line is Roma’s offence stepped up when it counted. In the first half C Dazema Ricketts and WA Stacy-Ann Dehaney did their jobs and ensured GA Nicola Pringle and GS Kay Copeland got their touches. In the second half sub Ramona Denton helped get the ball to the shooters with Copeland and Pringle doing the rest.
Arguably the biggest reason Roma A won the second half and the game was due to a solid defence. In particular WD Paula Hughes, GD Carrie Barnett and Goal Keeper Sudan Powell showed why Roma came into the playoffs with the top-ranked defensive unit.
Netball association president Lucille Seymour states Roma were fitting champions due to the hours they put into the sport.
“Roma and All Stars worked very hard to make it to the finals,” Seymour said. “Roma practiced morning, noon and night and that made the difference. They tried to get fit, they practiced a lot and got to deliver the ball better, among other things. A final tends to come down to the team that makes the least amount of mistakes. They did that and all kudos to them.
“I praise Bobby Sairsingh (Roma’s team president) who worked hard to establish Roma in netball. At the same time I offer words of encouragement to Mrs. Lyneth, who has been in the sport a long time. She has tried tirelessly to keep her team at the top of the sport.”
For the record Roma had three subs in Denton, Sheana Nairne and Sasha Samms while All Stars had four subs: Molly-Ann Moore, Lyneth Monteith, Wanda Faud and Adena Miller.