CDNL Celebration Event

On Sunday 27th April 2014, netball players old and new got together to celebrate over 35 years of league netball in Canterbury. The rain stayed away and the crowd enjoyed matches, competitions, and cake organised by Louisa Arnold and the committee of the Canterbury and District Netball League.

The day kicked off with a mash up competition as a mix up of division one and two teams played in a friendly versatility tournament. Then spectators enjoyed an excellent display of netball from U14 teams Pilgrims Netball Club and Canterbury Academy. The girls showed skills belying their years and the CDNL Committee hope to see them back and competing in the senior league very soon. Meanwhile ladies from the CDNL supported Back to Netball sessions played a friendly match. Back to Netball is a national initiative encouraging ladies to return to or start playing Netball in a friendly supportive environment. The ladies reveled in their first taste of competitive netball and hopefully it will inspire them to join an existing team, or even to enter their own team into the CDNL.

Then came the Ansted Cup and Wilson Plate finals. In the Ansted Cup club counterparts Crimefighter Alarms Diamonds and Crimefighter Alarms Purples were going head to head, while the George Wilson Plate was to be contested by UKC and new girls, Alpha Electronics. The Cup and Plate competitions involve players rotating through unfamiliar positions each quarter. There is also a handicap system so UKC started 6 ahead of Alpha, and CFA Purples 30 ahead of Diamonds.

CFA Purple won the Ansted Cup Final in dramatic style, keeping hold of their goal advantage to overcome previously unbeaten CFA Diamonds 62-56. Diamonds were favourites to collect the silverware after an impressive regular season, but CFA Purples put in a strong and disciplined first half so that by half time, Diamonds had only narrowed the gap to 22, trailing 31 to 53. Diamonds staged a second half come back, but Purples held their nerve, and possession, to edge the win. Diamonds had started strongly, dominating the first quarter, scoring 15 goals to Purple’s 6 thanks to sharp shooting from usual defensive duo, Mary Nelder and Jayne Conroy. Going into the second quarter, Diamonds had closed the gap to 21 goals on their sister team, but then Purples hit their stride with their usual shooting pairing, Emily Jones and Jemma Stolworthy, scoring 11 goals to Diamonds’ 10. Diamonds had a mountain to climb, still being 22 goals behind going into the third quarter, but had a strong defensive quarter, with Sarah Green turning the ball over well, to close the gap to 14. Purples put on an impressive display in the final quarter inspired by the reliable link-up in the centre third by Jemma Stolworthy, Tash Wilkins and Ali Bear. Maintaining discipline and possession won them the game 62-56.

Alpha Electronics were victorious over UKC in the Plate final. Alpha began the game as they meant to go on and had clawed back the goal deficit by the end of the first quarter thanks to solid shooting from Tanya Clark and Clare Morris, taking the lead 77-73. UKC fought well in the second quarter inspired by sharp shooting from Serena Fox ensuring Alpha did not extend their lead, leaving the score 81-77 to Alpha. However, Alpha then had their strongest defensive quarter in the third scoring 9, while their defenders, Fiona Wilkes and Becky Weller, kept a clean sheet, extending their lead to 90-77. UKC had a solid final quarter thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of Amy Richardson at GS and Charlotte Taylor at GD, matching Alpha goal for goal but they couldn’t regain their lead. Alpha Electronics won the game 93-82.

Following the finals Pilgrims Netball Club, who play in the League and compete at county level, then treated everyone to a choreographed netball display. It was then time for round two of the mash up competition.

The day closed with a presentations to the day’s winners. There was then a speech from Margaret Ansted, who founded the League with her late husband Don. CDNL presented Margaret with a Golden Memories rose bush to thank her for her contribution to CDNL in both this year, and the 35 years previous. Margaret thanked the committee and all who attended and stated “This is what the league is all about, not just the playing, but fun and comradeship. The laughter will be ringing in my ears for years to come thanks to the CDNL”.

Gemma Game, Vice Chair

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