Fierce Five tangle with Rising Stars to net fresh kudos

Fierce Five hope to become legends in local netball.

The Cayman Islands Netball Association is staging the finals for its Fast Net tournament on June 30. Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Center will see two matches as Affinity tackle Fusion in the third-place contest at 6 p.m. before Fierce Five face Rising Stars at 6:40 p.m. The umpiring crew will consist of Lyneth Monteith and Tricia Skyers-Palacio (consolation contest) and Wayne Brown and Milton Clarke (grand final).

Fierce Five were the regular season winners after going unbeaten at 5-0 with 15 points thanks to 105 goals scored and 38 goals allowed (both tops in the competition). Rising Stars were 4-1 with 13 points, scoring 64 goals and allowing 45 scores. Affinity and Fusion both went 3-2 with 11 points, with Affinity having a better goal differential – 81 goals scored versus 66 goals allowed compared to Fusion’s 56 goals scored and 63 scores allowed.

Rounding out the bottom of the standings are 1-4 University College of the Cayman Islands with seven points – having scored 19 goals and allowing 49 scores. Ernst and Young went 0-5 with five points, scoring 25 goals while allowing 76 goals.

The competition is being billed as the official end to the 2013-2014 netball season and will see a raffle, after the finals, for the national women’s team headed to Calgary, Canada for the 2014 American Federation of Netball Associations Championship on August 19-29.

Matches, which began in May, are using much of the same rules as the Fast5 version of the sport outlined by the International Federation of Netball Associations. Fast5 is a quicker version of netball with three major differences: teams can only field five players on the court, as opposed to seven; teams can decide on a “power play” quarter where goals count for double points and long-range shots can count for two or three points, depending on the location.

Of the six competing teams, four of them had a presence in the recent Appleby Netball League, which saw Roma crowned as national champions with Cayman National Bank All Stars and Blue Diamonds winning division titles. UCCI – led by Amber Myrie, Affinity Sapphires – behind Amy Smallridge-Smith and Rising Stars A – thanks to Rosemarie Wilson, all claimed consolation crowns. Rising Stars had a B team, featuring Patrice Stewart, that advanced to a group championship game while Gemma Butterfield guided the Ernst and Young Hot Shots to a consolation final. In all, there were 14 teams in the competition.