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Dazzling Dragons are on the move; NETBALL.

CELTIC Dragons roared into the top four of Fiat Netball Superleague and are on course for success.

They have finished third of the eight teams and now go into a new league programme, playing Team Bath, Surrey Storm and Hertfordshire Dragons home and away.

"The team performance was spot-on and the support was amazing," said Dragons head coach Melissa Hyndman.

"Wales netball is getting stronger - and we will continue to work hard as we go forward.

"Our next challenge is the series of matches ahead of us in the next stage of this season and we'll be ready for that."

The fixtures for the next series of matches are due to be announced within the next few days.

Dragons completed the first phase with a stunning 15-goal win against table-toppers Surrey Storm to secure their place in the showdown tier of the Superleague season.

A sell-out attendance produced an outstanding atmosphere at the Sport Wales National Centre.

The Welsh win, 65-50 against Storm, has sent shockwaves through the league because it knocked defending champions Manchester Thunder into the bottom four challenger league.

Thunder won by 23 goals against Dragons earlier this season, but the Welsh team have made outstanding progress since then.

Dragons started with energy and determination against Surrey, but were also steady and patient, nailing passes to goal-shooter Lottysha Cato in prime position under the net.

The home side led 15-14 after the first quarter and continued to press.

Textbook intercepts from Sara Hale at goalkeeper and Stephanie Williams on goal defence frustrated Surrey, while Suzy Drane and wing defence Nichola James closed off options for ex-Dragons team-mate and current Welsh international Sophie Morgan, who joined Storm this season.

At half-time Dragons led 32-24 and, although Storm worked hard to reduce the deficit, the home team finished the third quarter on the offensive.

It was 47-34 going into the final quarter and Storm took drastic action with coach Tamsin Greenway rearranging her entire team, moving players around and bringing on youngsters Amy Flanagan to goal defence and Georgia Lees at centre.

Flanagan made an impact in defence, neatly covering the ball with her hands at any opportunity, but ultimately the Dragons emerged winners with a final score of 65-50. Celtic Dragons: Jamilla Abbott, Lottysha Cato, Suzy Drane, Crystal Ann George, Sara Louise Hale, Nichola Emma James, Kyra Jones, Chelsea Lewis, Sophie Louise Morgan, Cara Lea Moseley, Rosie Pretorius, Emma Thomas, Brooke Williams, Stephanie Williams.


The Celtic Dragons celebrate their victory over Surrey Storm

PICTURE: Harriet Millard
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 27, 2013
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