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Netball - 01. May 2015.

Global Netball News by Rona Hunnisett

Surrey Storm made it fourth time lucky this week, finally lifting the UK 
Netball Superleague trophy with a 56-39 win over Hertfordshire Mavericks 
at London's Copper Box Arena.  After losing three previous finals, 
Storm's star-studded line up was the first to settle the nerves, 
establishing a 13-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, and moving 
out to a 26-20 advantage at half time.  Sterling defensive work by Kat 
Ainsworth, Hannah Reid and Katy Holland denied Mavericks space and 
possession throughout the second half, ensuring that the Surrey side 
took the title for the first time in the franchise's six year 
existence.  England captain and Storm GA Pamela Cookey was named Player 
of the Match, a year after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon, which 
kept her out of England's Commonwealth Games side in Glasgow.

Meanwhile, after their shock loss to Hertfordshire Mavericks in the semi 
finals, Tracey Neville's Manchester Thunder regrouped to show the form 
which took the side through the regular league season undefeated to take 
third place, thanks to a 55-49 victory over a defiant Yorkshire Jets 
side.  It was the first appearance in the play offs for Anna Carter's 
young Yorkshire squad, and there was further cause for celebration when 
Natalie Haythornthwaite was presented with the Superleague player of the 
year trophy after the game.

With less than 100 days to go to the Netball World Cup in Sydney, teams 
are stepping up their preparations for the competition. Netball 
Jamaica's campaign received a welcome boost this week, with the 
announcement of a J$3m (US$26,000) sponsorship package from Petroleum 
Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), which will help to underwrite the cost of 
the Sunshine Girls' preparations for the competition.  The package 
includes a J$1.5m cash contribution, and a fuel subsidy from PCJ's 
subsidiary Petcom, which will assist with team travel costs.

Netball Singapore has also announced a new sponsorship agreement this 
week, with German carmaker Volkswagen penning a year-long deal to make 
the company the association's official car sponsor for 2015.  Volkswagen 
Group Singaproe presented a new Touran TDI to Netball Singapore national 
coach Ruth Aitken, which will be used to assist with travel to national 
training and other commitments.

South Africa's selectors have named three players from the country's 
junior ranks in the senior Proteas squad which will compete by 
invitation at the European championships in Belfast later this month.  
Mari-Lena Joubert, Rochelle Lawson and Lauren-Lee Christians have all 
been named in the senior side for the first time.  Trinidad and Tobago 
have also been included in the competition as invitees, alongside 
England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales as the sides use the 
tournament to finalise their playing line ups ahead of Sydney 2015.  The 
full South African squad for the competition is: Erin Burger, Lauren-Lee 
Christians, Maryka Holtzhausen, Mari- Lena Joubert, Rochelle Lawson, 
Phumza Maweni, Zanele Mdodana, Bongiwe Msomi, Nothando Mthembu, Melissa 
Myburgh, Adele Niemand, Lenize Potgieter.

The Botswana Netball Association this week announced a new management 
board which will help drive the organisation forwards as it prepares to 
host the 2017 World Youth netball Championships. Tebogo Lebotse Sebego 
retained her position as president, with Lorato Theboekgosi now vice 
president-technical and Kelibogile Maplanka elected vice 
president-projects and events portfolio.  The new board will now start 
work in identifying potential partners for the Youth competition, 
following the agreement of a P1m ($US102,000) sponsorship from Spar for 
the country's national teams.

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