Netball: Back with a bang

Superleague Netball is back with a bang after Team Northumbria opened their second campaign in style with a crushing 44-23 win against northern rivals Leeds Met.

Superleague Netball is back with a bang after Team Northumbria opened their second campaign in style with a crushing 44-23 win against northern rivals Leeds Met.

The home side trailed 8-3 with four minutes of the first period to play as fans feared a return to last season's patchy form.

But Kiwi Kiley Hikawai broke her TN duck with the final goal of the quarter to tie the clash at 8-8.

And Egan's revitalised players never looked back as they went on to blow away one of last season's mid-table rivals.

"It's early days," said TN's coach. "Right now it's all about finding out what we can do and what we can't do.

"I thought we really clicked as a defensive unit but we weren't always firing on all cylinders as an attacking force."

Nineteen-year-old Hikawai sank nine of her team's 14 second-period goals after suffering an early attack of nerves.

Northumbria led 22-14 at half-time thanks to the pinpoint accuracy of Hikawai and Lesley `Big Mac' MacDonald.

But coach Egan introduced Wearsider Marie Ewing into the attacking mix after the break as Scot MacDonald took a breather.

The new frontline continued to cause Leeds all kinds of problems but it was in defence where TN turned the screw.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer