The playoffs are starting early for a quartet of netball teams.
Division three of the Cayman Islands Netball Association 2013 Open League sees its regular season finale this Saturday, 6 April. All four teams in the Optimists, Ernst and Young Hot Shots, Storm Chaserz and Island Heritage will be in action.
Storm are ranked third at 2-3 and head coach Milton Clarke states he is simply happy his club has a few victories.
“Chaserz have improved from where they started,” Clarke said. “We call it our baby team as it’s mostly a community team with girls from West Bay. I’ve been very hands-on with them, along with Lavern Ebanks.
“They have been improving in many areas. They are now scoring goals, before this they had trouble scoring.”
Storm trail behind Optimists and Hot Shots, both 3-1-1, in the standings. Island Heritage, 1-4, sits in last place. At 6.45pm on Saturday, Chaserz face Optimists while Ernst and Young tackle Island Heritage. The division three playoffs are slated to start on 18 April, with the finals on 25 April.
Chaserz will feature promising prodigies such as top scorer Haley D’Hue (16 goals) and attacking player Leandra Ramoon. Optimists counter with leading scorer Milaney Dunn Garwood (31 goals) and the likes of Nekita Saintvil.
The Hot Shots will look to stake their claim to the regular season title and the top seed behind group scoring leader Kate MacPherson (53 goals) and Gemma Butterfield (32 goals). Island Heritage sport a formidable shooter in Megan Anderson (32 goals), with Tenesha Ebanks (five goals), Lucy Day (three goals) and Josefa Martinez (three goals) among the notable contributors.
Clarke, a Physical Education teacher, has a lengthy connection to netball. He put in over 20 years in his native Jamaica before coming here two years ago and aiding Unity netball club and helping umpire league games. All of that experience has Clarke worried not on this month’s results, but on his squad’s legacy.
“I wanted to start an Under-15 team so I went ahead and did this youth team in Chaserz to help build up teams and players here. I want the Storm teams (including the Radarz Championship division and Supa Storm Plate division sides) to be an example for the younger players coming up in Cayman.”