NI secure World Top Ten spot & head to Commonwealth Games 2018   04/07/2017

Netball Northern Ireland is delighted to have received official confirmation of our senior team’s qualification for the second successive Commonwealth Games.

Having finished a superb seventh in Glasgow 2014, our girls in green with are off to Australia next April as a key part of Team NI at the Gold Coast 2018.

Winning the recent Quad Series tournament by beating Barbados in the final consolidates Northern Ireland’s place in the all-important top 12 in the world rankings.

However with ranking games still going on elsewhere, coach, Elaine Rice and her players still faced an anxious wait ahead of the official cut-off date of July 1st.

Thankfully when the updated standings were published on Tuesday 4th July, Northern Ireland were in 10th place thus securing their qualification for the forthcoming games.

On hearing the news, Chair of Netball Northern Ireland, Geoff Wilson, praised the efforts of the squad and management and urged the country to get behind the team; ‘The Quad Series in Lisburn certainly proved that our team deserve to retain their top 12 world ranking and qualify for Gold Coast; the level of performance sustained over the week was incredible and a credit to the work the coaches and athletes have been putting in over the last number of months. We are delighted they have been rewarded with a place at the games and the focus now is all about ensuring our team are ready to deliver again in April. Let’s all get behind the girls in green.’

Following a nervous wait, Head Coach Elaine Rice said, ’We are delighted to have qualified. This is a testament to the hard work of our players, support team and governing body. This is the beginning of an exciting 2 years with a lot of hard work and significant matches to come. I am confident that our players will embrace the challenges ahead.’

Robert McVeigh, Chairman NICGC, stated ‘We’re delighted to have Netball included within our team for Gold Coast, backing up their performances from Glasgow 2014. The girls have worked hard over the last couple of years to secure a place ahead of some very talented opposition. The race for ranking points went down to the wire and we were delighted to see the support generated for the team during the recent Quad-Series which helped to secure four important victories. We now look forward to working with Netball NI in preparation for Gold Coast.’

The twelve teams who will contest the netball tournament at Gold Coast 2018 ( in world ranking order) are;

1. Austrailia, 2.New Zealand, 3. England, 4.Jamaica, 5.South Africa, 6. Malawi, 7.Fiji, 8. Wales, 9. Uganda, 10. Northern Ireland, 11. Barbados, 12. Scotland.

In Glasgow 2014, Northern Ireland finished fourth in their group courtesy of 2 wins including over hosts Scotland before beating Wales in the 7th place play off.

Seven of the squad for the recent Quad Series competed for Northern Ireland at the 2014 games including current captain, Caroline O’Hanlon, Noleen Lennon, Gemma Lawlor (nee Gibney), Fionnuala Toner, Lisa Bowman, Michelle Drayne and Niamh Cooper.