On Monday 16th March the Sky camera’s returned to Cardiff for Round 9 of the Netball Superleague and to witness the Celtic Dragons successfully defeat Loughborough Lightning in a closely contested game with a final score of 53-52.
From the very first whistle the Dragons meant business, chasing every ball, reacting quickly to the umpire and sticking tight to their opposition. The game was fast with the Dragons demonstrating the ability to consistently apply themselves under pressure.
Source: Celtic Dragons
Dragons centre court players, Captain Suzy Drane and Bethan Dyke fed strong and direct passes to the shooters and after fifteen minutes the score was tied 15–15.
No changes were made going into quarter two. The Dragons edged ahead numerous times, however Lightning were quick to respond and drew even. Shooters Emma Thomas and Chelsea Lewis worked well together, holding their space and keeping calm in the circle. At the half time whistle the Dragons were ahead by one. 29 – 28.
As expected, the Celtic Dragons came out firing in the second half. No changes had been made to the original Dragons starting seven. The defensive pair of Kidner and Jones were working well, but Lightning started to strike and the visitors started to make a move, managing to gain a 4 goal lead. Remaining calm and composed following a time out, the girls in green returned to business and the increasingly confident shots from Lewis meant the Dragons led 40 – 39 going into the last quarter.
Dragons made three changes: Jones to WD. Kidner to GD. Morgan on at GK.
The sell-out crowd, full of an army of green supporters were rooting for the Dragons, helping them to keep up the pace and fight to the last whistle. More impressive feeding from Dyke and Drane, followed by turnovers from the defence made way for a nail biting final piece of play. With 1.40 left on the clock and a score of 51–50 to the Dragons, the tension was high. The visitors equalised within the final minute, however, a quickly taken centre and a determined Welsh team were not letting this game go to extra time. Lewis received the ball on the edge of the shooting circle and with 6 seconds left on the clock, took a long range shot at goal to secure the Dragons a win. FT: Dragons 53–52 Lightning.
All 7 players on the court stepped up to produce a complete team performance.
Player of the Match was awarded to Chelsea Lewis for her accuracy and composure throughout the game.
The Dragons next game will take place on Saturday 21st March against Team Northumbria (away).
Dragons starting 7: GS – Chelsea Lewis, GA – Emma Thomas, WA – Bethan Dyke, C – Suzy Drane, WD – Carly Lewis , GD – Nia Jones, GK – Lateisha Kidner.