Action from Celtic Dragons v Surrey Storm. Credit: Steve Porter.

Goalkeeper ‘Latty’ Shines For Celtic Dragons In Heartbreak Opening Netball Superleague Match

Celtic Dragons suffered a heartbreak defeat against Surrey Storm in their first match of the Vitality Netball Superleague season at Arena Birmingham.

Cardiff-based Dragons led through the first three quarters, but found themselves in the eye of a Storm during the final 15 minutes.

Almost 9,000 spectators watched Surrey hit back from 36-31 down to win the match 44-43.

Dragons were the better team most of the match, but suffered when Storm stepped up the tempo late on.

Jamaican goalkeeper Latanya Wilson – nicknamed ‘Latty’ by her teammates – was player of the match for the Welsh team: “The crowd were cheering for us and that kept us moving.

“Personally, I worked to stick to the game plan our coach gave me and tried to be consistent.”

Wilson’s long reach, deceptive speed and ability to intercept picked her out as the Dragons player to watch.

This fixture was the second game of Superleague’s 2020 season opener and it started in frantic style with Dragons gaining possession off Storm’s first centre pass. They went into two-goal ahead.

Storm’s Wing Defence, Niamh Cooper and Goal Attack, Sophie Hankin put in some strong displays towards the end of the quarter with the latter scoring just before the buzzer. Dragons, however, led 15-12 at the end of quarter one.

Dragons continued to push their lead throughout the second with Goal-Shooter Amy Clinton scoring an impressive long effort midway through the quarter. 

Celtic Dragons made a change at Goal-Attack, sending on Rebekah Robinson for Brittany Coleman making way and the replacement closed the second quarter with a goal, making the score 25-20.

Surrey Storm started the third quarter with two quick consecutive goals before Robinson responded with a swift turn and short shot.

Dragons stepped up the tempo with more goals coming from Robinson and they led 36-31 going into the final quarter.

Yasmin Hodge-England went on at Goal-Attack for Storm in the final quarter and linked with Karyn Bailey. They started to chip away at their deficit. 

With five minutes to go Storm pulled the score back to 41-40, a single goal behind Celtic Dragons.

With just over three minutes left a Storm equaliser brought the score level. Karyn Bailey then caught the rebound to score the go-ahead goal and they held on for a dramatic victory.

Period scores (Dragons first): 15-12; 10-8 (25-20); 11-11 (36-31); 7-13 (43-44) 

Celtic Dragons: GK Latanya Wilson, GD Abby Tyrrell, WD Paige Kindred, C Sophie Morgan, WA Shona O’Dwyer, GA Brittany Coleman, GS Amy Clinton. Replacements: Rebekah Robinson on at GA for Brittany Coleman, Annie O’Rourke for Paige Kindred at WD, Dee Bolakoro for Abby Tyrrell at WD, Paige Kindred for Annie O’Rourke at WD

London Pulse earned a 53-51 win against Strathclyde Sirens

Strathclyde Sirens starting seven: Bethan Goodwin (GS), Lynsey Gallagher (GA), Nicola McCleery (WA), Gia Abernethy (C), Claire Maxwell (WD), Natalie Bright (GD), Zanele Vimbela (GK).

London Pulse starting seven: Sigrid Burger (GS), Chiara Semple (GA), Adean Thomas (WA), Ashleigh Dekker (C), Michelle Drayne (WD), Lindsay Keable (GD), Halimat Adio (GK).

Saracens Mavericks earned a 70-49 win against Severn Stars.

Saracens Mavericks starting seven – George Fisher (GS), Kadeen Corbin (GA), Georgia Lees (WA), Sasha Corbin (C), Gabby Marshall (WD), Jo Trip (GD), Razia Quashie (GK).

Severn Stars starting seven – Georgia Rowe (GS), Paige Reed (GA), Liana Leota (WA), Lucy Harris (C), Nia Jones (WD), Ama Agbeze (GD), Towera Vinkhumbo (GK).

In a repeat of last year’s Superleague grand final, Manchester Thunder defeated Wasps 62-55.

Manchester Thunder starting seven: Eleanor Cardwell (GS), Kathryn Turner (GA), Ashleigh Neal (WA), Amy Carter (C), Laura Malcolm (WD), Emma Dovey (GD), Lauren Ngwira (GK).

Wasps Netball starting seven: Rachel Dunn (GS), Katie Harris (GA), Ioana Christian (WA), Jade Clarke (C), Amy Flanagan (WD), Fran Williams (GD), Hannah Knights (GK).

Team Bath opened their season with a 72-58 victory against Loughborough Lightning.

Celtic Dragons’ first home game of 2020, against Team Bath next Saturday (February 29), has been moved to a new venue.

The game will now be played at Archers Arena in Cardiff Metropolitan University (Cyncoed Campus) with a 6.30pm start.

Celtic Dragons 2020 Squad:

Shooters: Amy Clinton, Rhian Evans, Brittany Coleman, Rebekah Robinson

Midcourt: Sophie Morgan, Shona O’Dwyer, Paige Kindred, Eleri Michael, Laura Burton

Defence: Dee Bolakoro, Abby Tyrrell, Latanya Wilson, Lucy Howells, Annie O’Rourke

Tickets for all Celtic Dragons 2020 games are available here via Ticketline. Dragons’ first home game will be on 29 February at 4pm against Team Bath at the Sport Wales National Centre.

Vitality Netball Superleague

Celtic Dragons fixtures 2020 (19 regular season rounds)


Saturday 22: Celtic Dragons 43, Surrey Storm 44 (Arena Birmingham)

Saturday 29: Celtic Dragons v Team Bath (Archers Arena in Cardiff Metropolitan University Cyncoed Campus, 6.30pm)


Monday 9: London Pulse v Celtic Dragons (Copper Box Arena, 7pm)

Monday 16: Celtic Dragons v Strathclyde Sirens (Sports Wales National Centre, 7pm)

Saturday 21: Manchester Thunder v Celtic Dragons (Belle Vue, 5pm)

Saturday 28: Celtic Dragons v Saracens Mavericks (Sports Wales National Centre, 4pm)


Monday 6: Severn Stars v Celtic Dragons (Gloucester University, 7pm)

Friday 10: Loughborough Lightning v Celtic Dragons (Sir David Wallace Arena, 7pm)

Monday 13: Celtic Dragons v Loughborough Lightning (Sport Wales National Centre, 7pm)

Saturday 18: Surrey Storm v Celtic Dragons (Surrey Sports Park, 6pm)

Saturday 25: Celtic Dragons v Wasps (Viola Arena, 4pm)

Wednesday 29: Team Bath v Celtic Dragons (Team Bath Arena, 7.30pm)


Saturday 2: Celtic Dragons v London Pulse (Viola Arena, 4pm)

Saturday 9: Strathclyde Sirens v Celtic Dragons (Emirates Arena, 2pm)

Saturday 16: Celtic Dragons v Manchester Thunder (Sport Wales National Centre, 4pm)

Saturday 23: Saracens Mavericks v Celtic Dragons (Hertfordshire Sports Village, 4pm)

Saturday 30: Celtic Dragons v Severn Stars (Sport Wales National Centre, 4pm)


Saturday 6: Celtic Dragons v Surrey Storm (Viola Arena, 4pm)

Monday 15: Wasps v Celtic Dragons (University of Warwick, 7pm)

Saturday 27: Knockout semi-finals (Venue to be confirmed)


Saturday 4: Grand final (Venue to be confirmed, 5.30pm)

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