Round 1 – Celtic Dragons 49 – 61 benecosMavericks
Reflecting on the first round of the 2018 Vitality Netball Superleague, Celtic Dragons Centre, Kyra Jones said: “We started off really well, the first quarter was very good and then we had a bit of a lapse in the second. However, we came back in the third and fourth and did what we should have done in the second.”
Round 2 – Celtic Dragons 35-54 Team Bath Netball
Despite the result, it was certainly an improved performance from Celtic Dragons. The lapses in concentration that had affected them in Round 1 were far fewer however vice-captain Kelly Morgan was keen to see further improvements. Morgan said: “I think we could have done more to stop some their runs in the game, but credit to the defenders in front of me who helped get us some turnovers at the back.
Round 3 – Loughborough Lightning 69-45 Celtic Dragons
Stepping out in front of an 800 strong crowd, Lightning used their home court advantage to take an early lead, securing the first 6 points of the match within three minutes. Stunned, Dragons were forced to quickly reconcile their losses and prevent the powerful home side from gaining any more advantage and did so with a courageous fight.
Round 4 – Celtic Dragons 55-50 Surrey Storm
A slow start for Celtic Dragons in the first minutes of the opening quarter against Surrey Storm proved deceptive as the players in green went on to record their first victory for the VNSL 2018 campaign. The match also marked the arrival from Australia of Celtic Dragons and Wales new Interim Head Coach, Julie Hoornweg.
Round 5 – Manchester Thunder 68-48 Celtic Dragons*
Celtic Dragons, buoyed by their loud and proud away support, enjoyed some good periods of play as they challenged Manchester Thunder right up until the final whistle. But the Black and Yellows were simply ruthless and slick in patches as they ground out the win.
*postponed due to the weather
Round 6 – Celtic Dragons 49-40 Severn Stars
There was nothing to split the teams after the first two quarters before Celtic Dragons pulled away. Goal shooter Cara Moseley shot 85% to help her team achieve successive wins for the first time in four years.
Round 7 – Wasps Netball 74-32 Celtic Dragons
A dominant defensive performance led Wasps Netball to victory against Celtic Dragons at the Ricoh Arena with the reigning champions limiting Dragons to a record-low tally for goals scored in a Vitality Netball Superleague game in 2018.
Round 8 – UWS Sirens 65-43 Celtic Dragons
UWS Sirens took full advantage of a poor start from Celtic Dragons to take a 16-9 lead at the end of quarter one. They continued to push on, controlling the game throughout, and claimed their second win of the bank holiday.
Round 9 – Celtic Dragons 51-56 Team Northumbria
Eleven of the squad had returned from the recent Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast eager to kick start the action back in the domestic league. Team Northumbria came to life in the final quarter, capitalising on Dragons’ mistakes to leave Cardiff with their first Vitality Netball Superleague win of the season.
Round 10 – Team Bath Netball 66-39 Celtic Dragons
A first-half masterclass by Team Bath secured the points for the hosts. Dragons rallied in the third quarter and outscored their hosts 17-10 to cut Team Bath’s lead but the Welsh club were unable to complete a comeback.
Round 11 – Surrey Storm 70-42 Celtic Dragons
Surrey Storm pressurised Celtic Dragons from the off with sharp shooting and defensive dominance. The Green Army struggled to get the ball into their shooting circle as a cohesive Storm side secured a resounding win.
Round 12 – Celtic Dragons 38-66 Loughborough Lightning
It was a great occasion as Celtic Dragons welcomed Sky Sports to the Sport Wales National Centre Arena for the first time this season. The Green Army looked for win number three of the season but an in-form Loughborough Lightning proved too strong.
Round 13 – benecosMavericks 68-36 Celtic Dragons
After a tricky opening quarter, Celtic Dragons trailed 16-8 at the first break. Momentum stuck with the home side throughout with Karyn Bailey and Kalifa McCollin shooting at 96% and 88% respectively.
Round 14 – Celtic Dragons 38-78 Manchester Thunder
Manchester Thunder flew out the traps with five unanswered goals to stun Celtic Dragons, who lacked fluency. With the game seemingly gone after the half-time interval, it was time for Dragons to restore pride to their performance and the third quarter saw a marked improvement with a tighter quarter score.
Round 15 – Team Northumbria 58-47 Celtic Dragons
Team Northumbria made it two wins out of two against Celtic Dragons with a strong first half setting them up to push on in the second half. Consistency was the gateway to a comeback and Dragons certainly looked as if they had found the key, but they met their match against a resilient Team Northumbria side who equalled the Cardiff club in all areas.
Round 16 – Celtic Dragons 42-83 Wasps Netball
Wasps showed all the class that led them to Grand Final glory in 2017 as they launched themselves into the contest and, despite a good lead at half-time, they weren’t content to cruise to victory. Celtic Dragons put everything into the performance, but to little avail as the visitors took a well-deserved victory.
Round 17 – Celtic Dragons 37-59 UWS Sirens
Billed as the #CelticClash between one of netball’s fiercest rivalries, Scotland and Wales, the match got off to a lightning start. But the honours went north as Celtic Dragons lost to UWS Sirens in the final home match of the season in front of bumper crowd.
Round 18 – Severn Stars 65-42 Celtic Dragons
Celtic Dragons battled valiantly but the hosts had the upper hand throughout, with their incisive play causing problems for the visitors. Defeat marked the end of Australian Julie Hoornweg’s stint as Dragons’ interim head coach.
Suzy Drane (Captain), Kelly Morgan (Vice-Captain), Bethan Dyke, Clare Jones, Eleanor Roberts, Fern Davies, Kyra Jones, Leila Thomas, Sara Bell, Amanda Varey, Cara Lea Moseley, Georgia Rowe, Megan Powell, Nia Jones and Sarah Llewelyn.