Friday, 8 July 2011


Northern Ireland's squad has been the talk of the Mission Foods World Netball Championships in Singapore thus far, after the side qualified for the quarter finals for the first time in the country's history. The world number 12 side secured their spot in the last eight with a surprise 66-37 over ninth seeds Samoa in pool play. However, world number three England proved too strong for the Northern Irish squad, registering an impressive 87-16 victory to cruise into the semi finals.

Commonwealth champions, New Zealand, withstood a spirited first quarter by South Africa to take a 58-28 win and move forwards to face England in the semi finals. Australia will play Malawi and Jamaica will play Trinidad and Tobago in the other semi finals.

The New Zealand / South Africa match also saw another milestone for coach Ruth Aitken, when she became New Zealand (and the world's) most capped netball coach. Aitken took the record from Kiwi coaching legend, Lois Muir, who actually coached Aitken in the New Zealand team which took the title at the World Netball Championships in 1973.

Away from the world championships, St Kitts are the ECCB OECS U21 champions: having registered an impressive goal difference and undefeated record going into the final day's competition, St Kitts ensured that they took the title with a thrilling 40-all draw with reigning champions Grenada, who ended the tournament in third place overall. St Vincent and the Grenadines finished in the runner's up position.

Singapore defeated Malaysia 47-38 in the final of the third ASEAN Schools Games competition, having led 25-16 at half time. Having lost to Malaysia 31-34 in the group stage of the competition, Singapore's youngsters were determined to reverse that result in the final, and thanks to an impressive all court defence, inspired by GK Grace Seow, led 17-6 at the end of the first period. Malaysia mounted a determined fight back, but Singapore's focus and structure withstood the challenge to hold on and take the title.

Finally, many congratulations to Brenda Prince from Trinidad and Tobago who has been awarded IFNA's highest honour, the IFNA Service Award, for her years of work in developing netball across the Caribbean.

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