Wales began their 2019 Summer Tests with a two game series against South Africa’s SPAR Proteas at the Viola Arena in Cardiff Bay.
The two games were Wales’ first look at Julie Hoornweg’s brand-new Wales squad, featuring six uncapped players. Three of the debutantes took to court, Lucy Howells, Chantelle Walker Jones and Betsy Creak. Led by co-captains Nia Jones and Suzy Drane, Wales were fired up for the occasion, being streamed live across the globe via BBC Sport.
It was a tough introduction to the demands of test netball for the class of 2019 as South Africa took early control of the first test. However, the team learned plenty and Hoornweg was able to determine her strongest seven for day 2, where Wales fared far better against the world number 5.
A crowd of over 2,000 over the two days enjoyed a fantastic spectacle of netball and were impressed by the World Cup-bound Proteas who have high hopes of taking a medal back to the Rainbow Nation. A notable performance was that of South Africa’s WD, Shadine van der Merwe who was awarded the Centurion VAT Player of the Series award.
Although the Proteas were too much for Wales in the first two tests of the Welsh Netball Summer Tests, the home team were put in excellent shape ahead of their remaining games, with the challenge of Malawi and Trinidad & Tobago to come…
Welsh Netball will be featuring more stories and photos from the summer celebration of netball at the conclusion of the remaining 2019 Summer Tests!
First Test: Wales 32 South Africa 84
Second Test: Wales 44 South Africa 79