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Tuaine Keenan

Northumbria go out on a high

Team Northumbria beat Celtic Dragons by their largest winning margin of the season on Saturday.

Northumbria Goal Keeper Tuaine Keenan has impressed this season and has said she already can’t wait for the 2017 season.

Read the Northumbria match report below:

Player of the season Tuaine Keenan is committed to the job she started after revealing next season can’t come soon enough.

The no-nonsense defender has forged a formidable partnership with England call-up Leah Kennedy for Team Northumbria this season.

And the pair put in a typically robust shift to see off Celtic Dragons in the club’s final Netball Superleague clash of the season.

The hosts bagged their biggest win of the year with a 60-47 demolition of the Dragons and Keenan said: “We’ve really come together in the last few weeks.

“Four wins this season isn’t the best record and we’re frustrated we didn’t reach our target of six.

“But the results don’t tell the real story.

“We’ve all learnt a huge amount about ourselves and each other and we’ve grown together.

“That’s why I want to come back next season and maintain that progression.

“We needed time to gel as a group because there’s so much diversity within our squad.

“But now we’ve done that there’s no telling what we could achieve next season.”

It remains to be seen whether head coach TeAroha Keenan will keep the core of her NSL roster together ahead of the 2017 campaign.

But the current squad’s potential was there for all to see against a Dragons side that won the corresponding fixture by eight goals in Cardiff.

“That was a poor performance and we have struggled with the travel and the schedule at times,” added Tuaine Keenan.

“I think that has something to do with the fact that we’re a young and inexperienced squad.

“At the start of the season it was unlike anything a lot of the players were used to but we’ve learnt what we need to do.

“It was important we signed off the season in style and on a personal note I still can’t believe that the fans decided I was their player of the season.

“After just one season here it means so much. I’m on a five-year visa here and I have every intention of coming back next season!”

TN had opened up a three-goal lead against the Dragons at half-time but stepped up a gear after the break.

Coach Keenan stuck with the same seven players for the final three quarters and that consistency paid off.

Kennedy reclaimed the captain’s armband and responded to the extra responsibility in style – celebrating last week’s England call-up with her best display of the season.

And once again rookie shooter Chiara Semple showed just why she has been identified as one of the rising stars of Superleague.

Dragons had no answer to TN’s quality across the court with Rebecca Neil a deserved winner of the player of the match award.