Thursday, 5 April 2012

Netball around the world

Malawi development coach and former international Mary Waya (pictured below in action in 2007 World Netball Championships) has signed a new one year deal that will keep her at Tanzanian team Filbert Bayi until 2013. Under the contract, Waya is expected to train the team, which is made up of school students, as well as co-ordinating netball seminars for secondary schools and other netball development teams across Dar es Salaam. Although working with the Filbert Bayi side for a few weeks, Waya's input has already seen results, with six of the club's players selected in the Tanzanian national long squad for 2012.

Blaze Dolphins were in scintillating form in Singapore's Fair Price Foundation Netball Superleague this week, seeing off Sneakers Stingrays 55-40. Meanwhile, Mission Mannas edged a tense and exciting fixture 43-41 against Nike Marlins and, despite their loss, Nike Marlins remain at the top of the table, ahead of Mission Mannas. The competition takes a break this weekend, but will resume on 14-15 April: the league's finals will be played on 28 April. For more information about the league, please visit;

In Australia and New Zealand, the 2012 ANZ Championship got off to a thrill-packed opening weekend: after the first round of matches, the new look West Coast Fever, coached by former Australian head coach Norma Plummer, top the table thanks to an impressive 55-35 win over the Canterbury Tactix. Given little chance of a win against their highly rated opponents, the Ascot Park Southern Steel got their 2012 campaign off to a flying start by defeating the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in the competition's opening round this week, 49-47. An inspirational performance from former Silver Fern Donna Wilkins, who shot 33/35 despite only recently returning to action after the birth of her third child in January, lifted the Steel and allowed the team to overturn a six goal defecit in the final quarter to take a hard-earned win.

The biggest shock of the round came when reigning champions the Queensland Firebirds, who went through the 2011 competition undefeated, came unstuck against former champions the Melbourne Vixens, losing 47-42. Young shooter Karyn Howarth was in sensational form and netted 26 of her side's goals as the unfancied Vixens overturned many people's favourites for the 2012 title. In the weekend's other game, 2011 championship runners up, New Zealand's LG Mystics were pushed all the way by a revitalised Haier Central Pulse team before edging a 51-47 victory.

Meanwhile, in Tasmania, many future ANZ Championships players have been on display during the past week at the Australian U17 and U19 championships. New South Wales won its first U17 title for five years with a 38-28 victory over Victoria, while Victoria turned the tables on their rivals to take the U19 title with a 27-19 win over New South Wales. At the conclusion of the competition, Netball Australia's selectors named the country's U19 and U17 squads for 2, where many will gain their first experience of the Australian national programme. To find out more, please visit

In the UK, Northern Thunder's youth side scooped the Netball Talent League title after completing an unbeaten season. However, in the Netball Superleague their senior counterparts were handed their first defeat of the season, going down 63-62 to Surrey Storm in the competition's top tier. Celtic Dragons maintained their push for a play off place by maintaining their undefeated record in the competition's bottom tier, beating Loughborough Lightning 57-37.

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