Kyra Jones, Celtic Dragons’ Australian-born mid court player, was named coaches player of the season at their awards night.
Head coach Tania Hoffman presented Wales international Jones, who retired from Vitality Superleague Netball after the final fixture, with her trophy.
Players, management and staff of Celtic Dragons gathered at Cameo Club, Pontcanna to celebrate the end of the 2019 season. They reflected on a memorable season for the franchise, which saw them take six victories finish seventh.
That is their best finished since making the Grand Final of the competition in 2013.
Two awards were determined by a ballot of the Celtic Dragons squad: Players’ Player of the Year and Players’ Personality of the Year.
The coaching staff selected a Most Improved Player of the Year, a Coaches’ Player of the Year and a Most Valuable Player of the Year.
Players’ Player: Dee Bolakoro
Players’ Personality: Ellie Nawele
Most Improved: Abby Tyrrell
Coaches’ Player: Kyra Jones
Most Valuable Player: Kalifa McCollin
Loughborough Lightning 67, Celtic Dragons 56
Despite a startling third quarter rally, Celtic Dragons were unable to seal a final win of the 2019 campaign away against semi-finalists Loughborough Lightning.
Dragons went down in their last Vitality Netball Superleague fixture of the season.
Kyra Jones started at centre in her final Celtic Dragons appearance.
Quarter scores (Lightning first): 20-14 (20-14); 14-14 (34-28); 17-16 (51-44); 16-12 (67-56).
Celtic Dragons: Chelsea Lewis, Kalifa McCollin, Suzy Drane, Kyra Jones, Nia Jones (Capt), Dee Bolakoro, Stacian Facey. Replacements: Ellie Nawele, Lucy Howells, Bethan Dyke, Lucy Herdman, Abby Tyrrell.
Loughborough Lightning: M Cholhok, E Clark, H Joseph, J Shaw, N Panagarry (Capt), V Oyesola & T Keenan. Replacements: A Clinton, Z Everitt, R Harris, L Parize, A Roddy.
— Kyra Jones (@kyrajones09) May 4, 2019
Welsh Netball will be hosting a series of international netball test matches ahead of this summer’s Netball World Cup.
In addition to the already confirmed visit of South Africa, Wales will be competing against Malawi, Trinidad & Tobago plus Grenada from July 4 until July 10 in Cardiff.
Wales will also host Northern Ireland, who have fixtures against Malawi and Trinidad & Tobago.
Wales’ six games will take place at both Viola Arena (formerly Ice Arena Wales) in Cardiff Bay and the Sport Wales National Centre.
South Africa, ranked fifth in the World, feature players who compete across the globe, including in the UK’s Vitality Netball Superleague and Australia’s Suncorp Super Netball competitions.
These games give netball fans a first look at some of the teams who will be featuring at the World Cup in Liverpool, but it will also provide Wales with World-class opposition and mark the start of Wales’ campaign to qualify for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Test matches for Wales
Thursday 4 Wales v South Africa (Viola Arena,7.30pm)
Friday 5 Wales v South Africa (Viola Arena, 7.30pm)
Saturday 6 Wales v Malawi (Viola Arena, 3pm)
Saturday 6 Northern Ireland v Trinidad and Tobago (Viola Arena, 5pm)
Sunday 7 Malawi v Northern Ireland (Viola Arena, 3pm)
Sunday 7 Wales v Trinidad and Tobago (Viola Arena, 5pm)
Monday 8 Malawi v Trinidad and Tobago (Sport Wales, Cardiff, TBC)
Tuesday 9 Wales v Grenada (Sport Wales, Cardiff, 7.30pm)
Wednesday 10 Wales v Grenada (Sport Wales, Cardiff, 7.30pm)
Tickets will start from £7 for concessions and £10 for adults at Viola Arena, £4 for concessions and £7 for adults at the Sport Wales National Centre.
There is a group discount of 20% on tickets bought in multiples of five – so buy five get one free.
Two-day passes will also be available for the Wales v South Africa games and these also feature a 20% on the cost of individual tickets.
A new netball club from Swansea Bay have enjoyed success on and off the court in their first season.
With well over two dozen players, the club trains out of Gower College on Sundays (4.30pm-6pm) and competes in Division Two of the Swansea Bay Netball League.
Sketty Stars amassed five wins from five games and a very impressive plus 70 goals difference to take the title.
Moreover, Sketty Stars made it through as winners of their regional qualifier tournament to earn a place at the Welsh Netball Under-12 National Clubs Competition to take place in Bangor on Saturday.
The team worked hard off the court, enlisting the help of Wales and Celtic Dragons pros to give them the edge at training.
Sketty welcomed the likes of Kyra Jones, Nia Jones and Beth Dyke to sessions where the players have been put through their paces.
They have also been busy off the court, fostering a strong club identity.
Sketty Stars have enjoyed trips to see Dragons Superleague games.
Welsh Netball hosted their annual Under-16 National Clubs Competition at House of Sport, Cardiff.
The competition was split into cup and plate sections and teams representing a number of clubs from across all regions of Wales took part in both sections.
The winners of the cup competition, who strode unbeaten into the final, was Llantrisant Netball Club.
They took home the trophy ahead of runners-up North Dragons from Wrexham.
Meanwhile, in the plate section it was Newbridge who won with CTK finishing second.
Welsh Netball hosted the Senior Inter Area Competition at Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre.
Eleven teams from across Wales took part and it was Afan Nedd Tawe A (pictured above) from the Swansea Bay area who took top honours with Glamorgan Valleys A finishing as runners-up.
Senior Inter Area 2019
Winners Afan Nedd Tawe A
2 Glamorgan Valleys A
3 West Wales A
4 Cardiff and Vale A
5 Afan Nedd Tawe B
6 Conwy A
7 West Wales B
8 Cardiff and Vale B
9 South East Wales A
11 South East Wales B