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Exeter Netball Club who are partnered with University of Exeter have made it through the England Netball Premier playoffs to earn a spot in Premier 3 next season.
Having won the Netball South West Regional 1 league for the past 2 seasons Exeter headed to University of Hull to battle it out with the other regional winners and the 3 teams finishing bottom of Premier 3. With 12 teams battling it out over 2 days and only 3 places available in Premier 3 it was a tough 2 days of competition for Exeter to prove their worth.
First game of the weekend was against Thoroughbreds who have previously been in Premier 2 and also attended play offs last year. Thoroughbreds had the better start and Exeter were slow out of the blocks which meant a 16 goal deficit early in quarter 2. With some changes, focus and determination to play out the full 60 minutes Exeter got themselves back in the game and closed the gap. In the end Exeter were unlucky to lose by only 1 goal as Thoroughbreds scored with just 3 seconds on the clock. Taking the positives from the 2nd half Exeter were now in a must win game against Kent County who were fighting to retain their place in Premier 3. The first quarter was tight and finished with both teams level but a better start for Exeter compared to the previous game. Exeter began to build a lead in the 2nd quarter and then used the 3rd quarter to really push on and make sure the score line was firmly in their favour! Making the most of every centre pass and turnover they entered the last 15mins with a significant lead and were able to see out the rest of the game and take a 20 goal victory.
Day 2 started with a match against Tibberton Stars which Exeter needed to win to ensure a minimum of runner up in the group to make a final and have the chance to play for a place in Premier 3. Exeter made full use of their squad to inject some fresh legs into the team and again come away with a 20 goal win and the all important chance to take Exeter into the Premier league next season.
In the final Exeter faced Hi-Tech who were an unknown entity but had come through their pool as winners. In their best start to a game of the weekend Exeter leapt out to an 8 goal lead but knew they had to keep pushing on to ensure they got the win. With a lot of tired legs from a full weekend of netball Exeter stuck to task all game, winning every quarter and securing a 21 goal win and a place in Premier 3 to compete at a national level next season!
Exeter Netball Head Coach and University of Exeter Head of Netball Denise Ellis, commented “I am absolutely thrilled that Exeter Netball Club have achieved a place in the National Premier Division 3. Personally this is something I have been trying to achieve for many years as this is such good news for any netball players wishing to play in the EN National Premier Division in the South of our region. The partnership between the University has certainly assisted in us achieving this goal. Having now secured a place in this league we will hopefully attract netball players to both the club and university who wish to play at this level. The achievement of the squad has been second to none this season winning back to back titles in NSW Regional league 1. The Premier Play Offs are very hard and gaining promotion is testament to all the hard work and dedication of the players involved . They were determined to achieve this at the second time of asking and they did not disappoint. I am hugely proud of the whole squad and we are all looking forward to the challenge next season brings”.
University of Exeter Netball 1st team captain and Exeter Netball Club Regional 1 squad member Christina Shaw added “Prem play offs was a great competition for the Exeter Netball Club Regional 1 side and we all stepped up to the challenge. After such a tough pool, to win the final playoff match was a massive relief. Overall the season couldn’t have gone any better for our Regional 1st and 2nd teams and our University High Performance Squads. With the continued support from Denise, Exeter Netball has finally reached the national stage which is really exciting. I’m looking forward to seeing how all teams can progress in the upcoming seasons”.
Exeter Netball Regional 1 players 2018-2019 season
Head Coach: Denise Ellis
Assistant Coach: Salli Byrne
Team Manager: Pam Barnes
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