VNSL 2018 Round 17 – Celtic Dragons: 37 UWS Sirens: 59

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Celtic Dragons 37 UWS Sirens 59

#CelticClash honours go north as Celtic Dragons go down to UWS Sirens in the final home match of the season in front of bumper crowd.

Billed as the #CelticClash between one of netball’s fiercest rivalries, Scotland and Wales, the match got off to a lightning start – a goal each within the first few seconds of play. Celtic Dragons looked very well organised in defence and Suzy Drane tracked back to assist Leila Thomas at GK to make one of many of the afternoon’s interceptions for the team in green. It was level pegging for much of the quarter until Kyra Jones was penalised for a held ball, allowing the visiting side to get a foot into the match. Some great feeds from Amanda Varey saw the Dragons keep in well in touch at quarter time.

The second quarter saw the physicality of the contest escalate, as many had been expecting. Reminiscent of the infamous Wales v Scotland pool game at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, there were theatrics on court as the contest for the ball intensified. It was the Sirens who became the beneficiaries of this style of play and they grew their lead out to 10 by the middle of the period. The Dragons mid-court worked exceptionally hard to claw back the deficit, making up a couple of goals, but the visitors kept a solid advantage at the half time break.

The second half began with another goal for the Sirens who did an exceptional job of maintaining possession despite some assertive Dragons pressure. Nia Jones darted around the Dragons circle to pick off a well-deserved interception, however, as had been the case throughout the match, the multitude of Dragons interceptions were ultimately wasted. Georgia Rowe made a wonderful long-range shot at goal, but the team were unable to make an impression on the scoresheet.

The crowd remained enthusiastic despite the challenge awaiting the Dragons in the final period. Kyra Jones passed with deft precision to feed Rowe for another shot at goal. Unfortunately, the final period proved to be the most dominant for the Sirens, seeing their lead quickly become unassailable. With the result not in doubt, it was nonetheless fantastic to see Wales U21 player, Chloe Dyke, make her Celtic Dragons debut. With injured Dragons legend and sister Bethan on the bench, it was a proud family occasion and worthy of the #CelticClash big stage.

Celtic Dragons Player of the Match: Nia Jones

Quarter Scores: 11-13 (11-13); 10-18 (21-31); 11-14 (32-45); 5-14 (37-59)

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