Netball teams in the Cayman Islands are gearing up for another shot at glory.
The Cayman Islands Netball Association 2012-2013 open league starts on 15 November, with matches at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex netball courts. The annual uniform parade, at Truman Bodden, will serve as the official opener this Saturday, 3 November.
Rising Stars head coach Tricia Skyers-Palacio states her club is preparing for the league start.
“We take it season by season,” Skyers-Palacio said. “We’re focused on the women’s league and putting out two strong teams. We have lovely ladies and we’re looking forward to that.”
The Stars are hoping to improve their performance last season. The A team, behind Rosemarie Wilson and Marcia Moiten, would finish at 7-2, good enough for third in the regular season for a second straight year. From there, they would win the third place game in the round robin playoffs.
In spite of talent like Lexie Solomon and Alexis Carias, the B team would end up 2-6 and lose in the opening stages of the consolation playoffs.
For 2012, most of the focus will rest on All Stars. Sponsored by Central Cooling, the A team would rally behind players such as Katherine Maw and Stacy Reid-Satahoo to finish second at 7-1 and win the national championship.
The B side, sponsored by Cayman National Bank, featured talents like Tishelle Logan and Karen Smith-James and finished 5-3, good enough for fourth in the regular season. From there, the squad would finish fourth in the playoffs.
Among the clubs looking to challenge both All Star sides is Unity. Team manager Faye Green states her troops are set for battle.
“We have the girls prepared and ready,” Green said. “This year the registration fee is really high and I’ve never seen it this high. But we will do A and B teams. The girls are out in good numbers to practice.
“Based on last year, they are motivated and doing better. Going into the women’s league, we’re looking strong.”
Kemoya Goulbourne and Zanya Pinnock would lead Unity’s A side to a sixth place finish at 4-4. From there they made it to the consolation finals. The likes of Shaunette Williams would propel the B team to a 2-7 mark and the eighth and final playoff spot. They would lose in the consolation playoffs.
Unity will be hoping that some of their form continues from the recent mixed league competition. Under the name of Stay Alive, the side would finish third at 3-2 with talents such as Ovaine Monteith leading the way to the consolation title.
Green states the enthusiasm from that event has already rubbed off on her club.
“I think we could have come in better, like in second place. But we didn’t and we have to go on. We have to relax where we are. We wanted to be the number one team, who wouldn’t want to be number one? Coming from so far, we have to keep going. Knowing where we came from, some might find it hard to believe.
“We all came together at one point and we made up our minds to be as one. Even if we missed the ball, we’d shake it off. The effort they made was well done. I can’t pinpoint one person that didn’t perform. There was togetherness. Guys like Ovaine came in and played such a key role.
“Everyone is really putting in the effort. Our head coach David Wilson is doing better with Wayne Fine and Ovaine helping out. Janet Harris is our new team president and she is doing well to motivate the team and I thank her for coming and doing a wonderful job. Even the fans deserve credit, they came out to cheer us on in the mixed league. To put out that level of cheering and rush out onto the court after the win made us so glad.”
A number of other clubs will be in the mix for the 2012-2013 national championship. Roma A, behind Kay Copeland and Nicola Pringle, were the regular season winners at 7-1 and lost in the finals. The Flames Strikers, featuring Latoya Nixon and Marsha Campbell, were fifth at 5-4 and went on to win the consolation final.
It will also be interesting to see where Allie Campbell’s Ernst and Young Hot Shots fit into the mix. In their inaugural season, the side was 10th, at the bottom of the standings, at 1-6 and missed the playoffs along with Roma B.
Skyers-Palacio recently saw Collin Anglin and her Stars claim the mixed league crown after a 3-2 second place finish. She states her club will not be overlooking any of their opponents.
“One thing I tell my teams, before and after games, is we are not better than anyone and no one is better than us. On the court, we’re equal. The ball is round and anything can happen.”