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Netball - 13. May 2014.

Netball News from around the globe by Rona Hunnisett

WEEKLY NETBALL NEWS ROUND UP:  9 MAY 2014

Melbourne Vixens’ Teagan Caldwell (25) is the only new cap named in the Australian Diamonds squad to contest this summer’s Commonwealth Games, following three days of trials at the Australian Institute of Sport earlier this week.  Caldwell, who has been a member of the Diamonds squad for the past two years, and represented Australia at the Fast5 championships, was given her first full international call up after impressing the selectors during the selection process with her speed and versatility.   She is one of seven Australian players who will make their Commonwealth Games debut in Glasgow, including Julie Corletto, who missed the Delhi games in 2010 with a serious knee injury.  The full Australia squad to contest the Commonwealth Games is: Laura Geitz (capt), Bianca Chatfield (vice captain), Caitlin Bassett, Tegan Caldwell, Julie Corletto, Kimberlee Green, Renae Hallinan, Sharni Layton, Natalie Medhurst, Kimberley Ravaillion, Madison Robinson, Caitlin Thwaites.

Visual skills coach Dr Sherylle Calder has once again provided assistance to the South African Proteas side, as they continue their own preparations for the Commonwealth Games.  Dr Calder is credited with helping England and South Africa to win the Rugby World Cup in 2003 and 2007, and golfer Ernie Els to win the British Open in 2012.  The full South African squad took part in the training camp, which was held at the Tuks High Performance Centre in Pretoria from 25-29 April, and the Proteas team will play a three match test series against Scotland next month as part of the build up to the competition.  Meanwhile, South Africa’s new elite competition, the Brutal Fruit Cup, gets under way this weekend, and will run for six weeks, providing the country’s leading players with high level intensive competition in the countdown to Commonwealth Games selections.

Fiji’s Pearls staged a dramatic “come from behind” recovery to defeat Northern Ireland 60-59 after extra time to take the title at this week’s Digicel Tri-Series Plus One championship.  The visitors led by ten goals at half time, but were pegged back as the clock counted down.  With five minutes remaining in the final quarter, Fiji held a three goal lead, but the drama continued, with Northern Ireland mounting a determined effort to level the scores and force extra time.   Elsewhere in the competition, Northern Ireland defeated Papua New Guinea 65-42, after the home side took the opening win of the tournament against the Pepes 67-41.  The Tonga national team, using the competition as an opportunity to gain valuable international exposure, lost to Fiji A 32-43 and Papua New Guinea 67-29 but impressed many with their courtwork and determination. 

Netballers across Australia will don pink this weekend, as the country supports Pink Sports Day.  Fundraising profits go to Breast Cancer Network Australia.  For more information about events nationwide, and to get involved, please go to www.bcnapinksportsday2014.gofundraise.com.au
In a first for Channel Islands netball, Jersey Jets became the first off-shore side to be promoted to the UK’s Premier League division three, with a 54-43 win over southern champions Just Ahead.  Leading by 11 at half time, the Jersey side were never behind throughout the game and will be looking to build on this success when they enter the national league in the 2014-15 season.

Hatton National Bank, LB Finance and Nations Trust Bank were the winners at the 2014 Sri Lankasports.com Netball Challenge 2014, which reached its conclusion this week.  Hatton clinched the division one title, LB Finance took the honours in the second division, and Nations Trust lifted the mixed division crown.  29 teams representing leading companies and organisations from across the country took part in the competition, which concluded at in Columbo last week.

Finally, condolences to Papua New Guinea’s netball community, which lost one of its pioneers this week.  Rita Flynn, who established the country’s netball association in the late 1970s, died in Sydney from leukaemia after a long illness.  A life member of the PNG Sports Federation and Olympic Committee (PNGSFOC) and patron and life member of the PNG Netball Association, her name is attached to one of the country’s most prominent netball facilities, the Rita Flynn Netball Courts in Port Moresby.
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