Archive for March, 2013

Cops rescue drunken swimmer from GT harbour

| 28/03/2013 | 56 Comments

_DEW0749_0.jpg(CNS):  A 29-year-old woman was hauled safely from the water early this morning after taking a drunken swim that could have ended tragically. The woman, who was celebrating her birthday, decided to go for an early morning swim in rough seas at around after 3:20am today, Thursday 28 March. The police received a report from a friend who raised the alarm and told emergency personnel that the intoxicated woman was swimming in George Town Harbour in rough seas. The police attended the waterfront and saw that the woman was about 100yards from shore but refused to return when instructed to do so by the officers. They then lost sight of her in the rough seas and launched a rescue mission.

The Marine Unit vessel Tornado and the Air Operations Unit were deployed to the scene and they began searching for the missing swimmer but it was not until around 5:50am that she was finally located clinging to a raft approximately 150yards from shore, some two and a half hours after she had entered the water.

An officer from the Marine Unit dived onto the rough seas and pulled the woman from the raft onto the Tornado. She was conscious but extremely cold, the police said, and she was taken to the Lobster Pot dock, where a waiting ambulance took her to the Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town for treatment.

Sergeant Richard Scott, of the Joint Marine Unit issued a warning to others who may consider swimming after consuming alcohol.

“Swimming and alcohol are a dangerous combination,” the officer warned. “Overnight the seas were rough, which made this search and rescue all the more difficult. Thankfully this young woman was found and is now being treated in hospital, but her actions could so easily have resulted in the RCIPS reporting a tragedy this morning rather than a successful search and rescue operation,” he added.

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Courts could unseat MLAs

| 28/03/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): At least four of the candidates who have been nominated to run in the May General Elections are currently facing legal proceedings, three of which, if the cases led to convictions, would unseat them if they were elected. The three candidates are all accused of offences that relate to dishonesty and are currently in different stages of proceedings. All candidates are legally entitled to run for office and be returned unless they have been convicted of a crime of dishonesty or sentenced to twelve months or more for any other offence. As a result, voters could return MLAs in May who during their term in office run the risk of being ousted from their seats by the courts.

Joey Ebanks, the former ERA managing director, was recently arrested on suspicion of various offences including theft. He is currently bailed to return to the police next month but he has not yet been charged. He lost a bid for the North Side seat on the PPM ticket in 2009 and is running in 2013 as an independent.

McKeeva Bush, the former premier of the Cayman Islands and current leader of the UDP, is due in court on Friday 12 April facing 11 charges relating to corruption offences and theft, all of which he has vigorously denied.

Lyndon Martin, meanwhile, a former MLA, is expected to go on trial accused of stealing $926 from the Creek and Spot Bay School PTA on Cayman Brac on 25 April. He has also denied the accusations. 

As all of these cases relate to dishonesty, if any of the candidates be returned and later convicted, they would be ousted from office, regardless of the sentence.

Dr Frank McField, the fourth candidate dealing with legal proceedings, would be less likely to be unseated if he were elected, whatever the outcome. McField is currently defending accusations made against him in relation to obstruction in the Summary Court. As it is not acrime of dishonesty, even if the George Town hopeful was to be convicted he would be unlikely to face anything close the necessary custodial sentence of twleve months that would oust him from office.

These four are not the only candidates who have faced difficulties with the law in recent years. Osbourne Bodden, a PPM candidate in Bodden Town and a PPM MLA from 2005-2009, was tried  in 2011 for assault after he was accused of beating a local man with a five foot cow-cod, but  was acquitted.

Also running in the district of Bodden Town on the new PNA ticket, Dwayne Seymour, was a sitting UDP MLA when he was tried and acquitted by a jury after he was charged with perverting the course of justice in relation to a fight he had with a man he believed was having an affair with his wife in the car park of a Seven Mile Beach Hotel. And most recently, Deputy Premier Rolston Anglin, who is also running on the PNA platform but in West Bay, was in court just last week when he was banned from driving for one year and fined $500 after he was convicted of drunk driving.

Lyndon Martin, who is running as an independent in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, was the UDP party whip when it formed in 2001. He has faced a number of clashes with the law, including in connection with Operation Tempura for which he was found not guilty, and was convicted of immigration offences in April 2009, right before the previous elections.

McField, an Independent candidate in George Town who was a minister in the 2001-2005 UDP administration, has also been convicted in the past and fined following a dust-up with the RCIPS at a road block in 2006.

Kenny Bryan, a first time PPM candidate, was also convicted of a drug related offence in a ‘honeytrap’ case in a West Bay Road night club several years ago and was sentenced to 45 days in jail.

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Campaign catering in question at political rallies

| 28/03/2013 | 73 Comments

5JamaicaScotchiesOchoRiosjpg_0.jpg(CNS): Election officials are expected to confirm Thursday the position that the office will take, now that the campaign for the May General Election has officially started, on the provision of food, drink and entertainment at campaign rallies. With the anti-corruption law now in place, “treating” is illegal and the traditional lavish catering at political events may fall foul of that law. Direct favours, such as cash or gifts of any kind — from kitchen appliances to marl — given by candidates, agents or other supports to induce voters to cast their ballot in a certain way are easily defined as corruption, refreshments at political meetings are still in question.

Speaking about the issue on Wednesday evening, Governor Duncan Taylor said it would be down to the Elections Office and the chair of the Anti-Corruption Commission about the warnings they would give to candidates about how far the refreshment provision could go. He said that any favour or treat given in order to persuade an elector to vote in a particular way was illegal.

“There has to be an element of a judgment call and the issue here is whether you are offering something … in exchange for somebody agreeing to vote in a particular way. That is what’s illegal,” he said. “To call people to a campaign rally where you give speeches and promote your party or yourself as an independent and you are offering a drink and a donut during the rally, I don’ t think that would necessarily constitute treating,” he said, but warned that it is the concept of inducement behind the treating that is the problem.

Given the scale of the “treating” that has gone on in the past at rallies, Elections Supervisor Kearney Gomez has said the issue is being given serious consideration because the Elections Office does have concerns. He said that in the recent Turks and Caicos Islands election the extensive catering at political meetings was stopped.

Gomez confirmed that the office was hoping to issue clear guidelines today but warned candidates that treating was illegal.

Last night, there were several political meetings and Stefan Baraud, an indpendent for George Town, confirmed that after hearing that catering was being considered as treating he sent back the food his team had organised.

However, food was still served at the major rally held by the C4C candidates Wednesday evening in the car park at AL Thompson.

 

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Governor calls for ‘fair fight’

| 28/03/2013 | 21 Comments

_DEW9187_1.jpg(CNS): After signing and reading the necessary election proclamations on Wednesday, the Cayman Islands governor called for a free and fair election in which candidates focused on policy and not mudslinging. Duncan Taylor said the record number of candidates represented a positive engagement by the community in the democratic process but he warned all the candidates and their supporters about undue influence and inducement because favours of any kind in return for someone to vote in a particular way was illegal. He said he hoped to see robust discussion but a clean and fair campaign with no “dirty tricks” now that the official campaign had started.

“I am not surprised by the number. I think we saw plenty of indications before today that there was going to be a large number of candidates this time, including a large number of independent candidates,” the governor said on Wednesday afternoon as the Elections Office confirmed the largest number of candidate to ever contest an election in Cayman.  “The more engagement we have in an election the better for democracy.”

Taylor pointed to the rules of the election and the issues that candidates must watch out for, including treating or inducement in order to persuade people to vote for them.

“I very much hope we have a clean and fair campaign with no dirty tricks and people putting policies first rather than attacking competitors,” he added, as he wished all of the candidates good luck and a vigorous campaign.

58 candidates have put their names forward for election in the six districts. There were few surprises on Wednesday, however, as most of the 58 candidates nominated had already indicated their decision to run.

Joey Ebanks had announced his decision to go head-to-head against Ezzard Miller in North Side, despite his current legal difficulties. Ebanks had submitted his resignation to the Electricity Regulatory Authority, from which he had recently been suspended as the government regulator’s MD as a result of financial irregularities discovered during its annual audit and suspicion of drug related offences. Ebanks has denied any wrongdoing and in his Facebook posts has promised to unveil a myriad of corruption and wrongdoing at a public meeting next week.

Meanwhile, Vincent Frederick, a former member of the Coalition to Keep Bodden Town Dump Free who had told his former activist colleagues when he left the group that he hoped to run on the UDP ticket, was the last candidate of the day when turned up at the last minute in Bodden Town and was nominated as an independent. In West Bay, Andrea Christian, who had not previously declared her intention to join the fray, was nominated to run as an independent.

There were no surprises in any of the other districts, and while George Town reached a record number of 21 candidates, it still fell short of the existing record for any district which is held by West Bay, where 22 people put themselves forward in 2000.

Questions were asked about the qualifications of a number of candidates regarding their previous posts as civil servants and potential dual nationality and it is not clear if all of those were answered in time for officials to send the ballot paper to the printers.

Election officials confirmed that only the PPM and the UDP hadregistered as formal political parties and that neither the Coalition for Cayman or the People's National Alliance had registered. This means that the candidates running on those platforms will be able to spend a larger amount per head than theparties, while still pooling resources.

Questions over the elections supervisor’s post, as Kearney Gomez is retired from his post as chief officer in the district administration ministry, were also settled. Gomez  confirmed that when legislators made last minute administrative amendments to the elections law on Monday night, they had defined his position as a civil servant and removed the possibility of any challenges to the election at a later date.

However, Ezzard Miller has still warned that the wording of the constitution, which calls for voters to vote for “an elected member” (as in one man, one vote) still presents a serious opportunity for any elector to challenge the result of the May 2013 poll. He has said that the six votes given to George Town electors could also lead to a challenge to the election result under the bill of rights on the basis of discrimination by any voter in any other district, all of whom have fewer votes, including his own constituents, who have only one.

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CIASA Approved Learn to Swim Programmes

| 28/03/2013 | 0 Comments

swim.gif(CIASA): The CIASA Approved Programmes (CAPs) initiative has been introduced to recognise quality Learn To Swim Programmes and to acknowledge the important role they play in a swimmer’s progression on the development pathway, from the early stages of water confidence through to the acquisition of swimming skills. Coach Ian Armiger, CIASA’s Technical Director, in announcing the programme, explained that, “Programmes that register with CIASA to participate in the scheme will be awarded a CAPs Kite Mark to set them apart from other local providers if they meet the required quality assurance standards. Parents and guardians who are looking to sign their children up for swimming lessons will know that the schools with a CAPs Kite Mark meet the necessary standards and are run by qualified instructors ad coaches.”

WHO SHOULD APPLY?

Examples of organisations that may wish to register for CAPs accreditation are:

– Government Learn to Swim Schemes
– School Swimming Programmes
– Swim Schools (Private)
– Vacation Learn To Swim Centres
– Affiliated Swimming Clubs Offering Learn To Swim Lessons

BENEFITS

CIASA would seek to work in close partnership with the CAPs registered bodies who will receive a CAPs accreditation certificate and national recognition through the use of the CAPs Kite Mark/Logo.

APPROVED PROGRAMME

CIASA endorsement will help to raise the profile and public confidence in the Learn to Swim Programme and attract increased membership.

In addition CIASA will provide:

– Support, advice and guidance on professional matters
– Endorsement of the Learn to Swim programme on the CIASA website and via other CIASA promotional materials
– Free advertising and promotion on the CIASA website
– Access to the CIASA Information and Advisory Service
– Automatic Membership of the CIASA Coaches & Teachers Association
– Access to the CIASA Technical Equipment Resource Centre
– Regular news and information updates on swimming and swimming development
– Discounted access to the CIASA awards scheme.

CRITERIA

To be eligible for consideration, Learn to Swim organisations would be required to demonstrate:

– A well-structured programme with progression leading to swimming competency
– Qualified personnel
– Appropriate pupil/teacher ratios
– A suitable venue & facilities
– Satisfactory safety procedures
– Adequate Liability Insurance for teachers and pupils
– A willingness to contribute to CIASA Community Service activities

HOW TO REGISTER

Initial enquiries should be directed to the CIASA Secretary on email ciasaboard@gmail.com (or visit the CIASA website www.ciasa.ky to download an Application Form). A CIASA representative will then arrange to visit your Learn to Swim Programme and provide further information about CAPs and the full registration process. The annual registration is CI$150.

“We are delighted with the introduction of this new programme to Cayman Swimming,” said Peter MacKay, CIASA President. “It remains a goal of CIASA’s to waterproof every child in the Cayman Islands and this programme will ensure that teachers and coaches responsible for instructing them are qualified to do so” he said.

The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association (CIASA) is a volunteer, not for profit association dedicated to furthering the interests of all aquatic sports in the Cayman Islands. CIASA is the recognized Governing Body of aquatic sports in the Cayman Islands and is a member of FINA, UANA, CCCAN and the CIOC.

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$50k reward offered for info on injured cop case

| 28/03/2013 | 12 Comments

(CNS): A reward of $50,000 is on offer for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the assault of a police officer in East End last weekend. The officer, who is a member of the Uniform Support Group, received a serious head injury while monitoring a crowd attending a party at the Pirates Cove Bar in the early hours of Saturday morning. Although a teenager has been arrested in connection with the incident, the investigation continues and Cayman Crime Stoppers has launched an official appeal for anybody with information to come forward to help the RCIPS find the culprits.

The officer, who was hit in the head by what is understood to have been a stone or some other object thrown at around 1:45am, remains in a serious condition at the Cayman Islands Hospital in the critical care unit.

Cayman Crime Stoppers said the cash reward came from special  funds put forward by the Cayman Islands Government for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of any persons for murder, robbery or other serious or gun-related crimes.

Malcolm Ellis, Cayman Crime Stoppers Chairman, appealed to members of the public to call the Cayman Crime Stoppers tip line with any information at all regarding this incident. “The CaymanCrime Stoppers tip line guarantees callers’ absolute anonymity,” Ellis said. “Calls are answered by our call centre in Miami and callers are never asked to disclose their details, so there is no way they can be traced or identified by name,” he said.

Cayman Crime Stoppers is able to offer a reward for information which proves valuable in solving a crime. Callers are given a unique code which they can use to make a claim but they never have to disclose their identity.  The Cayman Crime Stoppers tips line is 800-TIPS (that is, 800 8477).  Tips may also be submitted anonymously through the Crime Stoppers website at www.crimestoppers.ky.

Related article:

Teen arrested for cop assault

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Burglars make off with jewels and antique guns

| 28/03/2013 | 8 Comments

Great House ring_0.jpg(CNS): Police are on the hunt for thieves who made off with some unique items following a break-in at a property along the West Bay Road sometime on Monday morning. Detectives from West Bay police station are appealing for information after a pair of antique pistols (below) and a diamond ring (left) were stolen from Great House Condos on Seven Mile Beach. The report of the burglary was made about 9:40am on Monday, 25 March, and police believe the burglary took place sometime between 12:30am and the time of the report. A silver coloured IPod touch, a black Cannon digital camera and a white Samsung Galaxy phone were also stolen.

West Bay detectives are appealing for anyone who was in the area between those times, and has any information to come forward. In addition, anyone who has any information about the stolen property, or who has been offered any of the items for sale, is also asked to contact the police.

Grand House antique pirate gun.JPGInformation can be passed to West Bay police station on 949-3999, the RCIPS tip-line 949-7777 or Cayman Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS).

 

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Annual oratorical contest winner announced

| 27/03/2013 | 0 Comments

winner.gifThe winner of the fifth Annual Oratorical Contest, hosted by the Optimist Club of George Town last Saturday, 23rd March, was David Forbes, a 15-year-old, Year 10 student from Clifton Hunter High School student. David will now represent the Cayman Islands at the District Level Contest in Jamaica. The local contest at the Harquail Theatre, provided a great opportunity for contestants from schools throughout the Cayman Islands to speak publicly for 4 to 5 minutes on this year’s topic "Why my voice is important". Contestants included students from: Cayman Islands Further Education Centre; John Gray High School; Clifton Hunter HighSchool; Prospect Primary School; George Town Primary School and Layman E Scott High School (Cayman Brac High School).

Contest Chairperson, Ms. Elaine Harris, said “the participants were courageous and outstanding in their orations. It is essential for us to empower our youth with the right skill set and opportunities, for we are not only encouraging success but we are also investing in the future leaders of these islands.”

Only 1 ½ points separated David from second place finisher Abijith Anu of Layman E. Scott High School, and even closer was the ½ point that put Abijith ahead of Jada Ramoon, also from Clifton Hunter High School.

The 1st place winner was awarded US$500.  The 2nd place winner received US$350.00 and 3rd place received US$150.00. Each contestant was presented with a certificate of participation, Oratorical Pin and an Optimist T-Shirt.  The top three contestants received monetary prizes and medallions.

Club President, Mark Ray, stated, “Once again we had a very high level of competition this year.  We are excited to have David represent us at the District level contest on the 13th of April in Jamaica, especially after our excellent showing in Jamaica in 2012 by Abijith, who won our Club competition last year.”

In Jamaica, David will have the opportunity to interact with and compete against other Oratorical winners from the region including countries such as Anguilla, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, and St. Lucia.  The winner at the District level Contest will receive a US$2,500 scholarship.

Ms. Harris noted that Cayman’s Oratorical Contest would not have been possible without the efforts of the students, parents, teachers, the Oratorical judges, volunteers, sponsors and supporters, who included: Cayman Airways; NBS-Cayman; The Cayman National Cultural Foundation; Mr. Adrian Estwick, Department of Agriculture; Kirk Rowe and the KRI Dance Studio; Foster’s FoodFair and the Caymanian Compass.

The Optimist Oratorical programme was first conducted in 1928 and is aimed towards building confidence and public speaking skills. The contest provides a platform for youngsters to share their opinions publicly and an opportunity to speak to the world.

More than $150,000 in college scholarships funded by the Optimist International Foundation is awarded annually from this programme. Nearly 2,000 clubs worldwide participate in the Oratorical Contest each year.
 

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58 candidates enter fray

| 27/03/2013 | 143 Comments

renard.JPG(CNS): Nomination Day threw up only a few surprise candidates on Wednesday when 58 people put themselves forward for election in the 2013 national poll across all three Cayman Islands. Believed to be the highest number of candidates in modern history, the high figure had been anticipated as a result of the six seats up for grabs in the capital, where 7,500 voters will be returning representatives to the Legislative Assembly. As nominations closed at 3pm there were 21 candidates nominated to run in the capital of George Town, 14 in both West Bay and Bodden Town, five in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman and two in both East End and North Side.

Full list of candidates:

George Town (21)

Alden McLaughlin (PPM)
Kurt Tibbetts (PPM)
Marco Archer (PPM)
Joseph Hew (PPM)
Lucille Seymour (PPM)
Kenneth Bryan (PPM)

Dr Frank McField (IND)
Derrington “Bo” Miller (IND)
Matthew Leslie (IND)
Stefan Baraud (IND)

Roy McTaggart (C4C)
Sharon Roulstone (C4C)
Winston Connolly (C4C)
Jacqueline Haynes (C4C)
Jude Scott (C4C)

Ellio Solomon (UDP)
Mike Adam (UDP)
Jonathan Piercy (UDP)
Walling Whittaker (UDP)
Renard Moxam (UDP)
Rayal Bodden (UDP)

West Bay (14)

Woody Da Costa (PPM)
Ray Farrington (PPM)
Capt. Bryan Ebanks (PPM)
Dalkeith Bothwell (PPM)

Cline Glidden (PNA)
Rolston Anglin (PNA)

Tara Rivers (C4C)
Mervin Smith (C4C)

McKeeva Bush (UDP)
Capt Eugene Ebanks (UDP)
Bernie Bush (UDP)
Velma Powery-Hewitt (UDP)

Dwene Ebanks (IND)
Andrea Christian (IND)

Bodden Town (14)

Alva Suckoo (PPM)
Anthony Eden (PPM)
Osbourne Bodden (PPM)
Wayne Panton (PPM)

Errington Webster (IND)
Charles Clifford (IND)
Gregg Anderson (IND)
Vincent Frederick (IND)
Arnold Berry (IND)

Theresa Pitcarin (UDP)
Chris Saunders (UDP)

Richard Christian (PNA)
Mark Scotland (PNA)
Dwayne Seymour (PNA)

East End (2)

Arden McLean (IND)
John “Johnnie” McLean Jr. (IND)

North Side (2)

Ezzard Miller (IND)
Joey Ebanks(IND)

Cayman Brac and Little Cayman (5)

Juliana O’Connor-Connolly (PNA)

Moses Kirkconnell (PPM)

David Allen Bodden (IND)
Maxine Moore (IND)
Lyndon Martin (IND)

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Cayman ride out late Princeton attack

| 27/03/2013 | 0 Comments

CNM v P 1 A (223x300).jpg(CRFU): The Cayman National Men’s XV squad put to bed any fears of a 2nd poor show of form against a younger, less experienced US College side when Princeton University came to town last week. This time last year Cayman welcomed Dartmouth College and only the Cayman Select sides (made up of players ineligible or not selected to make up the national squad) had any success against their Dartmouth counterparts as the series ended 2-2 with Dartmouth taking the bigger scalp of the Cayman National XV twice. It was an experience the Cayman players clearly learned from as Cayman won the Princeton series 3-1. Photos by Caroline Deegan

The opening game on 18 March between the Cayman National XV and Princeton was a bruising, ugly affair with Cayman racking up a massive penalty count but still managing to keep the Princeton players off the score board. The Game ended 32-0 and although Princeton started brightly up front in the forwards, some big hits from the Cayman backline left the Princeton boys a little gun-shy in attack. The mounting penalty count kept Princeton involved in the game with 3 Caymanian’s sin binned with yellow cards and 1 player red carded for continual infringement at the breakdown but the numbers advantage did little to aid the Princeton efforts.

The 2nd fixture on 19 March between a Cayman Select side made up of Advance Fire and Plumbing Buccaneers and John Doak Architecture Iguanas (dubbed the “Iganeers” by local commentator Koro Vakauta) took on a Princeton B XV which featured some honorary Princetonians in the form of Vanassio Tokotokovanua, Edward Westin, Stuart Geddes & Shaun Gerrard but regardless the Iganeers played a much more controlled game than their national counterparts and marched out a 34-5 win with Princeton buoyed by their first score of the tour. Cayman’s major highlight coming in the form of a hat-trick of tries from Justin Wight home from college for the holidays.

CNM v P 1 B (500x275).jpgThe 3rd Test (21 March) yet again against the Princeton B XV, was to be the highlight of the Princeton Cayman Islands adventure as a Queensgate Pigs Trotters and Century 21 Cayman Storm combined forces team (dubbed “the Porm”) took on a Princeton B XV featuring some faces from the Buccaneers who had earlier piled the points on the visitors in the form of Addae Andrews & Stefan Prior.

The Porm were dominant in the early exchanges and indeed were 17-0 up after only 10 minutes of playing time. The game looked to be heading for a score similar to a cricket match before the Porm took their foot firmly off the gas and only managed 1 more score before the half time break to ring in a score of 22-0 before the Princetonians and their honorary Caymanians responded with 24 points (15 of which were from Stefan Prior and Addae Andrews). The winningscore coming from a strong run from Stefan Prior with the last play of the game to leave the Porm shell shocked.

The final test of the Princeton series saw a resurgent Princeton side, clearly more acclimatized and gelled after a weeks’ worth of training in South sound taking on a Cayman National XV intent on playing a cleaner, more controlled game but the change of focus did not improve Cayman’s fortunes on the scoreboard. Cayman could not find the defensive weaknesses the 2nd time round and the scores were only 5-5 at half time. Moreover Cayman continued to infringe at the breakdown allowing Princeton a “pressure release valve” when Cayman got within scoring distance and indeed Cayman saw yellow once more and were reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes of the fixture.

It was only a concerted 2nd half effort late in the 2nd half the game which saw Cayman score thanks to Fijian lock Severi Tabuaniwera to take the game to a final score of 10-5 and seal a series 3-1 win over Cayman’s visitors.

Pictures (by Caroline Deegan)
Pic1 – Vanassio Tokotokavanua and Eddie Westin line up their tackles against Princeton
Pic2 – Phil Fourie runs from the base of a scrum to feed Simon Crompton

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