Celtic Dragons finish fifth in Fastnet

Netball

Celtic Dragons finished fifth in the Fastnet competition after losing their play-off 33-20 to Surrey Storm and missing out on a semi-final place.

The Dragons made the play-off thanks to a 27-27 draw with Team Northumbria and picking up a losing point in the 18-16 defeat to Hertfordshire Mavericks.

But they were well beaten 34-14 by hosts Manchester Thunder, who finished as runners up to Team Bath.

The Dragons start their Superleague campaign away to Bath on 7 February.

Despite the Dragons disappointment on Saturday, coach Melissa Hyndman was delighted to give court time to four Wales Under-21 players.

The quartet are joining the Superleague squad to give them experience in the run up to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year.

"It was a great opportunity for my young ones to get on court which they probably will find difficult during the season, so a small tournament like this is perfect," Hyndman said.

The players also had the chance to get some tips from New Zealand netball star Liana Leota, whose husband Johnny is currently playing rugby union for Sale Sharks.

"I was very lucky to have her on the sideline with me and she gave some amazing coaching tips to these players so they learnt loads over the weekend," Hyndman added.

The Dragons were without co-captain Sara Hale through illness, while goal shooter Lottyshe Cato arrives later this week and new Kiwi signing Jenna Murie later this month.

But coach Hyndman is looking on the bright side: "Not having any of my import players or anywhere near my full squad we were lucky enough to hide a few things."