For all of their success, doubts circled around All Stars netball club.
After failing to win a national championship over the last three years, there was talk that the veteran side was past their prime. All Stars A put those notions to rest by defeating Roma A 39-28 for the Cayman Islands Netball Association 2012 open league crown.
In the process, they ended Roma’s run of titles as they were the two-time defending champions. Both of those championships came at All Stars’ expense. For club president Lyneth Monteith, last Sunday’s victory was an important part of that rivalry.
“I am ecstatic about the win because it has eluded us for the last three years,” Monteith said. “Roma, as the reigning champions, were the team everyone wanted to beat. We knew that it was possible to beat them and we did not want to be runner-up to them three years in a row.
“Kudos to Roma A though, they are a talented team. On the night, however, the team with the game plan and unity was victorious.”
Adding to the hype was a shift in venue. The contest took place at Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Centre. It was the first time a national final was played indoors at that site.
All Stars seemed to relish the change from the Truman Bodden Sports Complex netball courts, sporting an up-tempo style that belies their collective age.
The offence was solid behind Goal Shooter Nicola Williams and Goal Attack Stacy Reid-Satahoo. Defensively, they limited Roma’s chances with the trio of Goal Keeper Teneisha Wilson, Goal Defence Cynthia Collington and Wing Defence Kimesha Walters.
All Stars A were sponsored this year by Central Cooling, a company that has supported sports like football (through Cayman Athletic Sports Club) and basketball (through the Wolves basketball club). Owner Julian Wood states he made a special push to be present for the finale.
“Well I was overwhelmed with the All Stars winning this year,” Wood said. “I was so pleased with their performance at the finals, I don’t get out much to watch the games. However, after reading in the paper that they have played Roma twice and lost, I thought that with me showing up as the sponsor of the team, it would give them that extra push.
“I was well received and got a lot thanks for the sponsorship.”
All Stars’ triumph was the second victory on Sunday. The consolation winners were the Flames Strikers, who defeated Unity A 40-25. The Strikers won their first netball title in their inaugural season.