Girls shoot for scholastic gains

As local netball turns its focus to youth players, there will be plenty of talk about its Canada performance.

The Cayman Islands Netball Association is slated to start its primary and high school leagues next month. The competitions, which run until around February and December, respectively, features teams from most of the institutions in Cayman from George Town and East End Primary to Clifton Hunter and John Gray High.

The adult competition is slated to get going in November and feature most of the ladies on Cayman’s national women’s team that competed in Calgary, Canada last week. At the 2014 Americas Federation of Netball Associations Championship, Cayman’s lost five of their six matches to finish sixth out of seven teams with a 1-5 record. The local girls were thrashed by home nation Canada, 58-26, in the opener before being beaten by Grenada, 48-35. Cayman then lost to Trinidad and Tobago, 68-18, Barbados, 87-12, and the United States, 50-19, before defeating Argentina, 55-27, in its final match.

Representing Cayman were 13 women: Carrie Barnett-Carter, Marsha Campbell, Alexis Carias, Kayon Clarke, Katherine Gow, Nickesha Lynch, Tashena Parks, Nicola Pringle, Karen Smith-James, Keren Watson, Aaliyah Webb, Rosemarie Wilson and Teneisha Wilson. Gow, who served as team captain, turned 31 just after the tournament ended and noted on her Facebook page that beating the Argentines was a great birthday gift.

The competition took place at SAIT Polytechnic institute and concluded with Trinidad and Barbados earning automatic berths to the 2015 World Netball Championships in Australia next summer. The Americans placed third, ahead of the host nation. That result is no surprise considering the Barbadians and Trinidadians are ranked ninth and tenth in the world, respectively. Both countries have loads of experience at the world championships, with Trinidad emerging winners back in 1979.

The Caribbean powerhouses will join neighbors Jamaica – along with Australia, New Zealand, England, Malawi, South Africa, Wales, Scotland, Samoa and Fiji – as qualifiers for the world championships; which is being billed as the 2015 Netball World Cup by the International Netball Federation.

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