Rising Stars are Cayman’s latest netball champions.
The club would win the Cayman Islands Netball Association’s Summer Mixed League, presented by Camana Bay. The Stars dazzled the previously unbeaten Blazers 30-22 in the finals on Tuesday at the Arts and Recreation Centre.
Tricia Skyers-Palacio serves as head coach of the Stars, alongside her husband Orvin Palacio. She states her side played well.
“I believe this is the first mixed league championship in team history and it feels great,” Skyers-Palacio said. “Our team did an excellent job. We played all four quarters. There was no mistake, we did what we had to do.”
Blazers went through the regular season undefeated at 5-0 behind the likes of Tishelle Logan, Carolyn Vivian and Gavin Watts. The Stars, who were second at 3-2, showcased talent such as Eckerd McField, Collin Anglin and Rosemarie Wilson.
Tuesday’s championship game was a tight affair. Blazers enjoyed leads of 9-5 and 13-12 at the end of the first and second quarter, respectively. The Stars would rally in a big way and take a 20-18 lead heading into the fourth quarter, before closing it out with a 10-4 showing.
Skyers-Palacio downplayed the third quarter being the decisive period.
“There was not that much of a goal difference in the game. We had to readjust what we did there. They made readjustments for us too.”
It was a disappointing end for the Blazers, who had been Cayman’s most dominant mixed team over the years. Due to a brief league hiatus, they were the reigning champions with their last title coming in the summer of 2010.
For players like Katherine Maw, the frustration was unbearable.
“We got robbed, you can quote me on that,” Maw said.
In the other league finals, Stay Alive beat the Flames Strikers 25-17 in the consolation game. Behind offensive dynamo Ovaine Monteith, Stay Alive cemented its 3-2 third place regular season finish. The Strikers, meanwhile, were fourth at 2-3 in spite of talents like Wayne Brown, Marvin Gordon and Latoya Nixon.
Lone Star-Boo’s Mix would wrap up fifth place by beating The Bold and The Beautiful 30-13. Behind Lavern Ebanks and Emily Vaka’uta, Lone Star had a 1-1-3 record while Allie Campbell saw her Bold and Beautiful crew finish at 0-1-4.