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.