The Celtic Dragons are celebrating their first home win of 2014 today, beating Loughborough Lightening 61-41 in last night’s first home fixture of the 2014 Zeo Netball Superleague.
With a sell-out game on home turf, the Dragons were facing the pressure after two recent narrow defeats to Hertfordshire Mavericks and Team Northumbria.
The Zeo Netball Superleague is the most prestigious netball competition in the Northern Hemisphere, featuring teams and international players from the UK and worldwide. The Celtic Dragons enjoyed their most successful season in the Fiat NSL in 2013, finishing second in the grand final.
Captain and Centre, Suzy Drane, anticipated the challenge ahead of the team:
“It’s not going to be easy- we have a tough schedule but we are all working hard. We rely on each other and our fans support”
And the support came in thick and fast. The crowd soon filled the Sport Wales in Cardiff, ready for the first home game of the year. The ‘green army’ lived up to their name, wearing ‘I believe’ on their green t-shirts in support of the team.
As the starting seven were announced minutes before the start of the game, the match ball sponsor, Shauna Wincop from Pontypridd Netball Club, took to the court to present the ball. Tension was high in the hall but so were spirits.
A strong start from the Dragons saw them lead the first quarter 16-11. Defence was key in the second quarter and great interception by Kyra saw the Dragon’s dominate possession. Cato stayed strong against contact and converted a final goal that saw the Dragons lead half time 31-24. Third quarter changes saw Drane move to WA with Nic James taking Centre. A long shot by Thomas took the score to 38-28 shortly after. Centre court worked tirelessly in the last quarter but their efforts were rewarded with a victory score of 61-41 against the visiting team, Loughborough Lightening.
Head Coach, Melissa Hyndman tweeted:
“Great win tonight but more importantly our performance was supreme. Well done. Move forward with determination now.”
Official sponsor of the Celtic Dragons, Alan Davies of University of South Wales, presented Steph Williams with Player of the Match at the end of the game. Although a tough call, Steph triumphed sever calf cramp in the last quarter after an intense physical game.
With less than a week to recover, the Celtic Dragons will take on Surrey Storm in their sell-out TV appearance home game next week, Mon 17th Feb. With such positive great play this week, the pressure will be on to maintain an advantage against the visiting team. One thing is for sure… the Green Army and Draig mascot will be there showing their support and backing the home team, Celtic Dragons. GO DRAGONS!
Starting seven for the first home game 10/02/2014:
GK Morgan GD Williams WD Jones C Drane WA Morgan GA Moseley GS Cato
For more information on the Celtic Dragons, visit http://www.welshnetball.co.uk/celticdragons.htm
For information on tickets, please visit Ticketline.co.uk
Any enquiries, please contact Kate Donnelly at Welsh Netball: firstname.lastname@example.org