Storm building toward title run

Storm netball club is confident in its championship aspirations

Storm has three teams in the Cayman Islands Netball Association 2013 Open League. Two of them, Storm Radarz and Supa Storm, rank near the top of the standings, leaving head coach Milton Clarke focused on props by season’s end. 

“The season has its bad and good parts, mostly good,” Clarke said. “The teams play each other too much for me. I don’t see the sense in it before the finals. With Storm, we’re trying our best to reach the finals and take it from there. Supa and Radarz have the talent but talent without practice doesn’t get you much results. If you don’t put it in practice, you will be off.” 

Heading into this week, Radarz are 4-2, good enough for second in the Championship Division. The squad trails 6-0 All Stars A, while leading 3-2 Rising Stars A, 1-5 Flames Strikers and 0-5 Unity. Radarz next battle Rosemarie Wilson’s Rising Stars on Saturday, 6 April, at 6.45pm at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex netball courts. 

Supa Storm, 4-1-0, are second in the Plate Division, trailing 5-1 Cayman National Bank All Stars B. Trailing them are 2-1-2 Rising Stars B, 1-5 Jets and 1-5 Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Renegades. Supa Storm tangle with Keisha Solomon’s All Stars next Thursday, 11 April, at Truman Bodden. 

Both Storm teams, who are sponsored by Lone Star, will have to go through their rivals, All Stars, for a title. The A team, behind Nicola Williams, are the reigning national champions, while the B side, behind Karen Smith-James, are coming off a top-four finish last season.  

Some of the Radarz members, like Kay Copeland and Nicola Pringle, tangled with Williams and company in recent seasons as members of the now-defunct Roma club.  

Clarke said the All Stars-Storm rivalry, which dates back years ago when Storm initially competed, will make winning harder. 

“All Stars A are the defending champions and where respect is due, I have to give it to them. They’re an organised team and they work hard. Radarz are coming in as a new team and taking the title from them won’t be easy,” he said.  

“We lost twice to them this season but sometimes it’s not the best team that wins it all. We’re not underestimating them because they are the defending champs and they’re organised. 

“Supa are right there with All Stars B and with dedication and commitment, they can get good performances. All Stars B are not easy and they will come back harder than before. But my girls are promising they will come back harder as well.” 

One Supa Storm player eager to hit the court again is Olivia Samuels, 16. Samuels has 88 goals this year, fourth most in her group. She has formed a potent combination with veteran Kristie Hurlston, who has 90 goals. Both ladies have a stellar supporting cast with the likes of Melanie Lewis and Alexia Walton. 

Samuels is part of the national Under-21 team headed to Scotland and states that commitment has helped her this season. 

“It helps us, all of the girls, do the best we can,” Samuels said. “We train hard for the U21 team, harder than our club teams. That helps us to bring what we learn to our club teams when they play.” 

The Storm Chaserz are not terrible at 2-3, ranking third in Division Three behind Optimists and Ernst and Young Hot Shots, both 3-1-1. Island Heritage, 1-4, sits in last place. Chaserz tangle with Optimists this Saturday at 6.45pm and feature promising prodigies such as top scorer Haley D’Hue (16 goals) and attacking player Leandra Ramoon. 

Clarke states Ramoon is among many offensive stars on each of the teams. 

“With Leandra, each game she plays, she improves and gets more confident. Without her, the team would be weaker. Then you have Kristie of Supa, who, in spite of her injury, works hard on shooting; more so than any other player. She comes to training and due to that, her game has improved. 

“With Kay of Radarz, she is a talented and perfect shooter. She’s more gifted than talented. She doesn’t have to do much to get her scoring up. But there is still room for improvement.” 

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Olivia Samuels aims to show her improvement.
Photo: Matthew Yates
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