To some degree, Unity have been the lovable losers in Cayman netball. These days the side is changing that perception.
Unity A beat Roma B 31-23 in the Cayman Islands Netball Association 2012 open league. The match took place last Saturday at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex netball courts.
The victory is Unity’s second this season and a rarity in that wins have been a struggle in years past. Leading the way was Kemoya Goulbourne, whose shooting was on point. The Goal Shooter states her squad had a winning mind-set.
“It was competitive and we came out executing well,” Goulbourne said. “We came into the game expecting to win. We would be [confident] playing whoever. We believe this team can come out on top.
“We got better after the loss to All Stars [A in January]. It was a chance to learn and have things to work on. We went back to the drawing board.”
Unity had to work hard as the contest was tightly contested. Roma were only down 13-7 by half-time and had a 9-8 edge in the fourth quarter. Unity won what proved to be a decisive third quarter 10-7. Offence was arguably the biggest difference maker as Goulbourne, Sheree McKenzie (Goal Attack), Niketa Boyd (Wing Attack) and Racquel Graham (Centre) all made the most of their opportunities. The rest of Unity’s line-up saw Zanya Pinnock (Wing Defence), Kerry Scarlett (Goal Defence), Lavern Ebanks (Goal Keeper) and Cherita Robinson and Polly-Ann Pinnock as subs.
With the win, Unity are a respectable 2-2 after beating Unity B in early February and losing to All Stars A and Rising Stars A. Unity head coach David Wilson states his A side is under pressure to perform at a higher level than the B squad.
“The A team will fare much better,” Wilson said. “The A team played and lost to All Stars but we want to be in the mix. We want to be in the first three and we don’t want to be below third.”
The Roma B roster consisted of Jahzenia Thomas (GS), Kristie Hurlston (GA), Beneica Thompson (WA), Samantha Dennis (C), Avril Myers (WD), Roxanne Walton (GD), Julia Watling (GK) with Stacy-Ann Smith and Rashane Frater as subs. Saturday marked the first time that the B unit had a full line-up this season as Thompson (a multi-sport star) is new to the league and Thomas is back after a long lay-off.
With the loss, Roma are now 0-4 (the side did not play two games earlier this season and they were subsequently ruled as forfeits). Myers, who herself is back after a lengthy absence, states Saturday’s loss was a missed opportunity.
“They beat us in the second half,” Myers said. “We worked back up but our shots were not going in. We got a lot of work to do within our attack circle. Other than that, based on what I’ve seen out there, I’m happy with the team. We can only go up from here.
“Unity have got a lot better. We used to train with them for a few weeks. They are vastly improved and they’re up there now.”
Both squads play this Saturday, 3 March, at 6.30pm. Unity A play Rising Stars B while Roma B face All Stars B.