Ballasalla warm up for top-flight title defence with victory in annual pre-season tournament

SMP Ballasalla A won the annual Helen Kelly Memorial Pre-Season Tournament on Sunday at the NSC

SMP Ballasalla A won the annual Helen Kelly Memorial Pre-Season Tournament on Sunday at the NSC

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SMP Ballasalla A emerged victorious from the 20 teams that contested netball’s annual Helen Kelly Memorial Pre-Season Tournament on Sunday.

The competition gave many their first opportunity to play under International Netball Federation’s new rules and try out the new NSC courts.

Teams played in four groups with the winners of each going forward to the play-offs. In the semi-finals, Route 1 A met SMP Ballasalla A and Missfits A took on Simcocks A.

Balla won their match 9-3. The other semi between Missfits A and Simcocks A went to extra time after the pair had drawn 6-6. Simcocks A eventually won 11-7.

In the final, despite Simcocks’ best efforts, reigning Premier Division champions Balla A dominated the match, winning 13-1.

Manx Netball Association would like to thank everyone who helped organise or took part in the event, which raised £465 for Walton Hospital in Liverpool.

The evening before the tournament, MNA members Hannah Drewett, Charlotte Christian, Gaynor Hewings and Claire Battye were short-listed for awards at England Netball’s National Goalden Globes.

Unfortunately none of them were outright winners however, the night wasn’t without success as Margie McGee was recognised for all she has done to support the development of Manx netball and was awarded a national long service award.

A great evening was had by those who travelled to Droitwich in Worcestershire.

Isle of Man netball development officer Rachel Andrew said: ‘It’s amazing that we had five MNA members shortlisted for national awards.

‘The senior league starts this Sunday and this year we have increased from three to four divisions. As new teams have joined the league over the last couple of years, the scheduling of matches and umpires was becoming more and more difficult for fixtures secretary Katie Williams.

‘Teams have been placed in the new divisions based on their league position at the end of last season. Having the extra division means that teams will all play a more equal number of matches and have more to aim for in terms of progression.

‘The under-14 and u16 junior leagues start in early October, while walking netball is taking place on Tuesday mornings from 10.30 to 11.30am at the Tommy Clucas Hall in Peel.

‘Netball Now runs every Tuesday from 7 to 8pm at QEII in Peel.’

For more information on manx netball, please contact Rachel on 308893, email mnadevelopment@gmail.com or take a look at IoM Netball Development on Facebook.

Sunday’s fixtures

NSC

9am Route 1 Connections v Toomraiders

9am SMP Ballasalla C v Route 1 Reactors

10am SMP Ballasalla B v Manx Glass Saints

10am Castletown Pink v Marbree Motors

11am Route 1 Turbos v SMP Ballasalla A

11am Simcocks Green Eagles v Thompson 3

12pm Team Long & Humphrey v Young Farmers

12pm Missfits C v Route 1 Volts

Bemahague

9am Missfits A v Simcocks Red Eagles

9am Thompson 4 v West Coast Fitness

10am Simcocks White Eagles v Missfits B

10am Simcocks Blue Eagles v Thompson 1

11am Absolute Scaffolding v Route 1 Sparks

11am Manx Gems Rubies v Spaniards

12pm Simcocks Gold Eagles v Thompson 5

12pm Castletown Navy v Manx Glass Sapphires

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