The Welsh interceptors made their mark in Vitality Netball Superleague with an all-action team display at the Copper Box Arena in London.
Celtic Dragons, the pride of Wales, achieved 13 intercepts during their 67-40 win against London Pulse with captain Nia Jones and Dee Bolakoro on four each.
Centre Kyra Jones made 39 feeds and had 24 assists in a pulsating team performance which earned Dragons an advantage in all four quarters.
Wing-Attack Suzy Drane returned to the line-up after missing the opening fixture against Team Bath and Dragons looked far more comfortable and balanced through mid-court.
“We were really, really pleased by the win against Pulse,” said Drane, who is from St Asaph in North Wales and now lives in Cardiff.
“It was 27 goals and that puts out a message that we are here to perform and compete.
“That wasn’t a small margin. We have set targets for ourselves and we are still looking at minimising errors and the finer details.
“The more we play together the better it can be. Different combinations came together and we worked on things that went well against Bath.
“When we talked before the match in London we said we wanted a performance over 60 minutes, not just one quarter or half. We knew we had to produce our A game to win and, while there is still a need to work on improvement, we were happy overall.
“We have a fantastic group and we will do everything possible to build from this win. There is such positive support in Wales for the Dragons and we are thankful for that.”
Coach Tania Hoffman’s 2019 outfit lost their opening Superleague match 58-41 against Bath and they were fired up and determined against Pulse.
The next fixture for Dragons is against Severn Stars in Gloucestershire on Friday, January 25, while they are at home against Saracens Mavericks on Monday, February 4.
That match against Stars will be played at the new University of Gloucestershire Arena in Gloucester.
Dragons have a rich mix in their team with players from Jamaica, Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago, England and Wales. Highly experienced centre Kyra Jones is a Wales international who was born in Australia.
Quarter scores (Pulse first): 12-15 (12-15); 7-20 (19-35); 7-15 (26-50); 14-17 (40-67)
Celtic Dragons: GS Chelsea Lewis, GA Kalifa McCollin, WA Suzy Drane, C Kyra Jones, WD Nia Jones (capt), GD Dee Bolakoro, GK Stacian Facey. Replacements: Abby Tyrrell, Lucy Herdman, Lucy Howells, Lucy Hitchings, Eleanor Roberts and Ellie Nawele.
Dragons fixtures 2019
Home games played at the Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff.
Celtic Dragons 41, Team Bath 58
Saturday 12 London Pulse 40, Celtic Dragons 67
Friday 25 v Severn Stars (away, 7.30pm)
Monday 4 v Saracens Mavericks (home, 7pm)
Friday 8 v Strathclyde Sirens (away, 7.30pm)
Monday 18 v Wasps (home, 7pm)
Monday 25 v Manchester Thunder (home, 7pm)
Saturday 2 v Surrey Storm (away, 6pm)
Saturday 9 v Loughborough Lightning (home, 4pm)
Saturday 16 v Team Bath (away, 5pm)
Monday 25 v London Pulse (home, 7pm)
Saturday 30 v Severn Stars (home, 4pm)
Saturday 6 v Manchester Storm (away, 5pm)
Saturday 3 v Strathclyde Sirens (home, 4pm)
Saturday 20 v Saracens Mavericks (away, midday)
Sunday 21 v Wasps (away, midday)
Saturday 27 v Surrey Storm (home 4pm)
Saturday 4 Loughborough Lightning v Celtic Dragons (6pm)
For home match ticket information click on the Dragons name Celtic Dragons