Venners reach plate final as Carol Anne and Titans progress deep into cup competition
EIGHT North Devon netball teams travelled to Brean Sands for the annual national netball tournament last weekend.
Venners reached the final of the plate but were narrowly beaten 7-5 by Premier Romans and had to settle for a runners-up spot.
During the pool stages Venners played well, only just losing to the cup runners-up Worcester Reds but a couple of close defeats in games they could have won meant they just missed out on a place in the cup.
Steph May had defended superbly, but was unable to continue on the second day of the tournament through injury – and was definitely missed.
Venners were disappointed but the standard in the plate was higher than anticipated.
The first two matches were relatively easy with 13-2 and 14-2 victories. The final group game was closer but finished in their favour.
In the quarter finals, the shooters Hannah Evans and Miriam Kimber stepped up to ensure Venners made it to the last four.
An early lead in the semis from some great interceptions by Beth Nancekivell and Alex McKean gave them confidence but in the second half their lead was cut to a single goal. But Gemma Braunton remained calm and they extended their lead before the whistle.
Premier Romans play in the regional league with some players from their National League side, so Venners knew they were in for a tough task in the final.
A good start with an interception from Katrina Venner put them ahead but some missed opportunities meant the half time score was 3-3.
Chantal Moore was fast in the mid-court and although Romans pulled ahead to 5-3, Venners managed to pull it back level at 5-5.
Unfortunately they could not quite find the little bit extra they needed and Premier Romans scored the next two goals to take the title.
Carol Anne Diamonds performed brilliantely at the tournament and made it to the last four of the cup competition, but were eventually beaten by Worcester Reds to deny them a shot at the title.
Titans, too, progressed well in the cup, reaching the quarter finals.
The North Devon summer league starts next week, made up of six divisions playing in a ‘fast-net’ style, meaning players can score extra points by shooting outside the circle.