Friday, 28 May 2010

NETBALL AROUND THE WORLD


Photo: STACY SQUIRES/The Press


Jamaica's netballers have begun preparations for the next four months with the first training camp to be held at their new netball "house", the Sunshine Chalet in Barbican, St Andrew. The three day camp, held last weekend, aimed to hone the team's physical and mental strengths, as well as formulating a programme for the busy months ahead. Defender Kasey Evering has rejoined the Sunshine Girls after a three year break.

New Zealand has retained the International Schools Girls Challenge title, edging out Australia 29-23 in the final in Adelaide. New Zealand trailed the home side throughout the first half, but produced an heroic fight back in the second half of the game to take a six goal victory, inspired by sterling performances by Sophia Fenwick, Kirsten Hurley and Sulu Tone Fitzpatrick. Despite losing to Australia in the round robin stages of the competition, New Zealand regrouped to beat

Indigenous School Sport Australia 55-6, Bukit Jalil Sports School Malaysia 54-16, Aotearoa Maori 36-22 and the Pacific Rims 40-36 in section play before going onto beat Aotearoa Maori in their cross over match 36-24.

A shortage of funding means that Fiji's netballers may fail to qualify for the 2011 World Championships, after it emerged that the country's netball association had not paid for the squad's air fares to the forthcoming Pacific Cup. Coach Una Rokoura has appealed to Fijian business for financial support for the side, which is scheduled to play Samoa, Papua New Guinea and the Cook Islands at the competition, the qualification for the 2011 Singapore competition.

In this week's round of ANZ Championship matches, New Zealand's Haier Central Pulse has scored only its second win in the competition's history, a gritty 45-43 victory over fellow strugglers Canterbury Tactix. Inspired by 27 goals from 29 attempts from Silver Ferns shooter Paula Griffin, the Pulse led by eight goals at one stage, but allowed nervous errors to creep into their game, before regrouping to take a vital win. Elsewhere in the competition, the Southern Steel shocked local rivals, the highly rated Waikato BOP Magic 52-47, while the Adelaide Thunderbirds held on for a thrilling 53-51 win over the Queensland Firebirds. Former Jamaican international Carla Borrego continued her impressive return to top level netball with 38 goals from 41 attempts, while Adelaide's defensive unit of Mentor, Gerrard and Layton were impressive in closing down the space available to the Firebirds' fast-moving attacking unit. The NSW Swifts defeated the West Coast Fever 61-52, with England defender Sonia Mkoloma (pictured above) putting in a match winning performance to unsettle Fever's international shooter Caitlin Bassett.

In Botswana, the new Spar Good For You Netball League is now under way, with first round victories for UB Crystals, Jungle Queens, Notwane and BDF Cats. The second round of matches will take place this weekend.

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