England's young side struggled against a spirited challenge from Barbados in the second Test between the two countries, before taking a 53-48 victory that established a 2-0 win in the series. England took the first Test 72-41. With many of England's established line up away on duty in the ANZ Championships, head coach Anna Mayes has taken the opportunity to give a number of new players exposure at international level, with Laura Malcolm and Kerry Almond winning their first caps during the opening test. The third match of the series takes place on Saturday.
England's netballers have a new commercial supporter too this week, with news that Maxitone, the lifestyle nutrition brand designed specifically for women, will provide the national team with tailored nutritional support to complement their training and match schedule. Information and promotions will also be targeted to the game at all levels across England. Members of the England national squad are pictured at the announcement of the partnership earlier this week.
There will be a new face at the helm of Cayman Islands netball in the coming months with the news that Australian, Gillian Lee, has been appointed as head of netball for the country. The Victoria Netball League championship division premiership-winning coach, who has been in working as head coach at Monash University Central for the past ten years, will take up her new post very shortly. The Cayman Islands offer was tailored-made for her and will involve coaching the national team as well as setting up grassroots netball in the islands, including developing a coaching programme.
Netball Samoa is also set for a coaching change, with the appointment of Marcia Hardcastle as the new head coach of the country's national team. Hardcastle, who takes over the role from Linda Vagana, is a former New Zealand U21 coach, and has a wealth of experience gained in New Zealand, including working as assistant coach to Yvonne Willering in the National Cup competition for four years, as well as coaching the Netball North provincial side in 2009 and 2011. Her daughter, Sonya Hardcastle, was named in the Silver Ferns in 1990.
In Jamaica, defending champions Jamalco scored in the final seconds of the game to draw 57-all with rivals Waulgrovians A in their Berger Paints/Jamaica Netball Association Superleague encounter this week. Waulgrovians international shooter, Jheniele Fowler, was in outstanding form, scoring 51 goals from 54 attempts and, despite the loss, her side remains at the top of the league table, ahead of Tivoli A and Jamalco. Meanwhile, Jamaica's U16 squad has arrived in the UK for a development tour during which they will face the England U17 side as well as U16 squads from the Birmingham area.
The USA Netball Association (USANA) has announced that, in partnership with the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, the USA Netball National Championships will take place in Delray Beach on 23 and 24 June 2012. This is an invitational competition for national and international clubs, which will crown a national champion in several divisions, including 14 and under, 16 and under, 20 and under and open adult competition. USA Netball will also use the event to identify potential talent for the USA national team, ahead of the Americas Regional Championships in Trinidad and Tobago later this year, as well as the 2013 World Youth Championships in Glasgow.
After two rounds of competition, the 2012 ANZ Championship table has an unfamiliar look, with reigning champions the Queensland Firebirds, former champions the NSW Swifts and perennial finals contenders Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic at the bottom of the pack, all without a win to their names. The Adelaide Thunderbirds, Melbourne Vixens and Northern Mystics are tied at the top of the table with two wins from two games, while the second round of matches saw wins for last season's bottom side, the Canterbury Tactix, who overcame the NSW Swifts 54-51 and also for the Central Pulse, who took a gritty 47-42 win over coach Robin Broughton's former team, the Southern Steel. This weekend, the Thunderbirds take on the Vixens in a top of the table clash, while the Swifts and Bay of Plenty Magic face off in an encounter which many are describing as a “must win” game for both teams, if they are to make progress up the table.