England’s preparations for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow were dealt a serious blow this week, with news that the country’s captain, Pamela Cookey, looks set to miss the competition through injury. Cookey, who missed the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 20002 with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, ruptured her Achilles tendon during Team Bath’s 32-42 loss to Hertfordshire Mavericks in the Netball Superleague 3rd / 4th place play off. Another England shooter, Kadeen Corbin, has made herself unavailable for the upcoming training tour to Australia, after missing the play offs with injury. An England Netball statement said that she will stay in the UK as a precaution and undertake “intense rehab” to “provide her with the best chance of consideration for Commonwealth Games selection.”
Another England shooter was also making headlines this week, after Manchester’s Thunder’s emerging talent Helen Housby netted a last gasp winner to help her side lift the UK’s Netball Superleague title. Trailing 26-22 at half time against the previously unbeaten Surrey Storm, Thunder fought back thanks to some impressive defensive work from captain Sara Bayman, Kerry Almond and Jodie Gibson, and a turnover in the final minute saw the side work the ball to Housby on the edge of the circle. With the scores level at 48 all, the teenager showed no nerves to calmly sink the winner and end Storm’s impressive undefeated season in the most heartbreaking manner.
This weekend’s round of the ANZ Championship will see the Adelaide Thunderbirds and West Coast Fever celebrate the participation of Indigenous Australians in netball by wearing specially-designed dresses. The indigenous match will be played at Adelaide’s Netball SA Stadium and the two sides’ dresses will feature designs by indigenous artists. The Thunderbirds dress, designed by Port Lincoln High student Margaret Goldsmith, incorporates kangaroo tracks and white circles representing cultural meeting places. Meanwhile, the Fever dress, designed by Noongar artist Peter Farmer and his niece Kylie Graham, features seven circular symbols representing “coming together” as well as water, together with 12 symbols representing female in Aboriginal culture.
Netball Jamaica has named a long squad of 21 players ahead of its Commonwealth Games selection, as the country’s Berger Elite League reached the semi-final stage. The long squad will be reduced to 18 players in early June, before the country names its final 12 to travel to Glasgow shortly thereafter. The players named in Jamaica’s long squad are: Romelda Aiken, Shanice Beckford, Nicole Dixon, Kasey Evering, Stacian Facey, Jhaniele Fowler, Simone Gordon, Tristina Harwood, Sasher Gaye Henry, Malysha Kelly, Patricia McCalla, Kadene Marshall, Nicole Pinnock, Shantal Slater, Shamera Sterling, Antoinette Stone, Daneen Taylor, Paula Thompson, Khadijah Williams, Vangelee Williams, Melissa Wright.
Preparations are complete in Fiji for the upcoming Tri-Series Plus One: the Fiji Pearls side, which includes two high school students aged 15 and 17, will face Papua New Guinea and Northern Ireland at the Vodafone Arena in Suva, with the Pacific side using the competition as preparation for the Pacific Netball Series and the Oceania Netball World Cup qualifiers. Tonga’s newly formed national netball team will also travel to Fiji, to face Fiji A over three matches, as well as Papua New Guinea, as the country seeks to re-establish itself on the world stage. Those wishing to support the Tongan side’s fundraising efforts to help to cover their costs, please click here: www.gofundme.com/7fncys
Netball Australia has invited four players to join the Australian Diamonds squad at next week’s selection camp in Canberra. Kate Moloney of the Melbourne Vixens and Clare McMenima, Jacinta Messer and Verity Simmons of the Queensland Firebirds will join the 18 player squad at the new Centre of Excellence for netball at the Australian Institute of Sport, for three match play trials before the Diamonds squad for the Commonwealth Games is named next Wednesday afternoon.
The six overseas internationals included in the Singapore Cheers Netball Superleague have now all arrived and settled with their sides. Botswana’s Hildah Bingang (Sneakers Stingrays), Fiji’s Unaisi Raluni (Blaze Dolphins) and Raijeli Daveua (M1 Sunfish), the Cook Islands’ Lenae Tiaiti (Magic Marlins) and Namibia’s Diana Tjejamba (Mission Mannas) and Jaumbauaiji Zauana (Bedok Kings Vipers) have met up with Singapore national coach Ruth Aitken and are now fully involved in the competition. This week, the league lead changed, with Magic Marlins moving to the top of the table after a 46-45 win over Sneakers Stingrays and a 38 all draw with the Mission Mannas.