Net gains for Republic of Ireland side at Quad series

by Gazette Reporter
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THE Republic of Ireland netball team season came to a close last weekend in Lisburn. Six fixtures in seven days was a grueling workload for an amateur organisation but the Irish ladies could look back on their efforts with immense appreciation.
It was certainly a summer that could be divided into two phases for a side based predominantly in south Dublin. Ireland dominated the European Championships second tier competition in Aberdeen in May. In that tournament, they put together four back-to-back victories as they dominated.
In truth though, the 24th world ranked ladies were really looking forward to the challenge at last week’s Summer Quad Series in Lisburn, competing with Northern Ireland (ranked 12), Barbados (11th) and Singapore (19th).
For Republic of Ireland, the standard meant their panel of 12 was tested to the limit. Wins against Barbados and Northern Ireland were not expected and the team lost by some margin in both games; 55-21 and 68-20 respectively.
But Irish Goal Defense Gen Slater explained: “Against each team there was a specific goal. For three of the four quarters against Barbados, we met our goals of losing by a quarter by five or less. We rarely played as well as we did against Barbados.
“The really poor quarter was the next day in the last quarter. By then, against Northern Ireland, we were gassed”.
Slater was among Ireland’s best performers across the week: “I have the experience of playing the hard games where it’s just go all the time but a lot of the younger girls are only getting that experience by playing here in these games.”
Playing with a swollen knee, goal keeper Kate Bermingham had the least enviable job of marking a superstar Goal Shooter for each nation. Barbados’ Shonica Wharton (39 goals from 41 shots), Northern Ireland’s Lisa Bowman (45 from 47) and the player of the tournament Singapore’s Charmaine Soh (72 from 77 combined in the group game and third/fourth place game) showed no mercy.

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