Team Bath U21 squad bronze medalists.
Exeter participation in Netball Performance League (NPL) for Team Bath squads
The Netball Performance League is run by England Netball consisting of three different age groups competing against each other from all over Britain. This league is used as a pathway for progression to become future Netball Super League (NSL) players.
Hannah Blackman, Christina Shaw, Maisie Sharp and Amy Omakobia, who are Sport Scholars and current University of Exeter Netball Club (EUNC) and Exeter Netball Club (ENC) players have been representing the U21 squad. Their first game of the season started off great, winning against Surrey Storm 62-55, pulling away from them in the last quarter to secure the win. Next they faced a tough Manchester Thunder side, who finished the season top of the table, narrowly losing 45-50. Team Bath then travelled to face Loughbrough Lightning losing the game 45-54. The squad were then determined for a win after two unlucky games, facing Mavericks and dominating the match reaching a 69-43 win. Their next match was Wasps in which they secured a strong 64-50 win, however Wasps stole the silver from Bath after finishing on the same points, but having a greater goal difference. Their last two games were played on a double header tournament finishing off with two strong wins, 67-31 against Severn Stars and 71-35 against Team Northumbria. This meant that they finished 3rd in the table, missing out on 2nd due to goal difference, bringing home the bronze medal. This league is a great oppurtunity for the EUNC players to compete at an even higher standard of play, sometimes having to face some of the NSL players themselves.
ENC Regional players Hannah Barnes, Lauren Wood and Rachael Fee are involved in the U19 NPL squad as well as Sophie Orchard and Sophie Ewin in the U17 squad, competing in a Netball Performance Friendly League (NPFL). This means that they can compete at a high level but are focusing on development. The U19 squad has had a tough season and fought hard in every match but couldn't reach the results the U21 squad has, finishing 7th in the table due to goal difference. All of these players work closely with University of Exeter Head of Netball Denise Ellis, due to her coaching involvement in the EUNC, ENC and Team Bath squads.
The EUNC High Performance athletes will continue training within their squads in preperation for the NPL tournament in July and the National Play-off tournament for the Premier League in May representing ENC.
Written by Hannah Barnes, Exeter College student.
Date: 23 April 2018