Netball news from around the World by Rona Hunnisett
The Abu Dhabi Eagles are celebrating this week, after winning the Competitive Cup Competition at the 27th Inter-Gulf Netball Championships which featured more than 20 teams from across the region, including sides from Al Ain, Qatar, Bahrain, Fujairah and Doha. After defeating Dubai B in the semi finals, the Eagles faced Dubai A in the final in a repeat of previous years’ finals, and held their nerve despite a spirited fightback from their opponents, to take the title 11-10. Abu Dhabi took more silverware in by winning the mens’, U19 and Competitive Bowl competitions, while Daisy Conchie from the U19 side was awarded the Player of the Tournament trophy. The Geckos are pictured with their trophy, as well as their team mascot.
University of Trinidad and Tobago retained its premiership title in the Courts All Sectors Netball League this week, while TSTT claimed the Retro Division title, with a 34-18 win against Les Enfants. Undefeated throughout the competition, the TSTT side was inspired by a great shooting performance by Debra Alie, who contributed 25 of her side’s goals.
Across the Caribbean, the Jamaica Netball Association has announced it is seeking commercial sponsorship to assist in sending the young Sunshine Girls side to the World Youth Championships in Scotland later this year. A new general manager for the association, which is to be renamed Netball Jamaica, will be appointed shortly, with a mandate to generate income and manage the organisation’s $J100 million budget in the short to medium term. Parish associations are also being established across the island, to improve competitive opportunities for players of all ages and playing standards and these will be run by a new management board with clear performance objectives.
Three of Namibia’s national squad have been invited to take part in the Singapore national league when it gets under way next month. Eve Hamwaala, Viva Kaperipa and Gleneth Kazonganga will travel to Singapore for the five-month competition, to experience different coaching, training and competitive styles which can then be passed on to team mates back in Namibia.
UK Netball Superleague leaders Surrey Storm lost their undefeated record this week with a 51-50 loss to Yorkshire Jets. The Yorkshire side were in superb form from the start, leading throughout the match, and despite a spirited fightback from the visitors, held on for their first win of the season. In the week’s other games, Northern Thunder defeated Celtic Dragons 63-39, Mavericks beat Team Northumbria 62-31 and TeamBath bounced back from a loss in the previous round to overcome Loughborough Lightning 69-30. With Bath, Storm and Thunder now tied at the top of the table with three wins apiece, Storm’s fixture against Thunder this weekend is a must-win for both sides as they aim to take the top spot on their own.
Finally, parliamentarians took to the court in Malawi last weekend, in a series of friendly sporting fixtures against their counterparts from neighbouring Zambia. Malawi’s MPs proved too strong for the visitors, winning 13-5 in a fixture which aimed to raise the profile of the sport across the country.
Australia has made its 400th international Test match a memorable celebration with a 54-47 victory over England at Canberra's AIS Arena in the perfect finish to the Diamonds 2014 international campaign.
The powerhouse trio of China, Japan and Korea have all ensured safe passage to another edition of the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women after finishing in the top three of the FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Women in Jordan.
Malaysian superstar Nicol David claimed the latest historic achievement in her illustrious squash career when she beat Egypt's Nour El Sherbini in the final of the Women's Delaware Investments US Open.
Annika Beck is off the mark: the Porsche Team Germany player won the Luxembourg Open and at the same time celebrated her first career WTA title. In Saturday's final, the 20-year old was an easy 6-2, 6-1 victor against the Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.
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