Hawks swoop to Super 5 crown win

- Advertisement -

JERSEY’S most high-profile netball export praised the inaugural Santander International Super 5 tournament as ‘beneficial for all involved.’

Serena Kersten (née Guthrie) hosted the event, and brought a flavour of the ‘FAST 5’ netball format to the Bailiwick, six years after her gold medal success with England at the Fast5 Netball World Series.

The five teams involved – featuring the top 50 clubs players in Jersey – were assembled by way of a draft system to level the playing field, and Guthrie believed that the format held wide-spread benefits for our local netball stars.

‘When you remove the option of picking your team-mates, you expose the players and coaches to an unfamiliar environment,’ said Kersten.

‘Many of the local players compete within teams and form a bond and telepathy with them players, and coaches learn the tendencies of their squad. By mixing the squads through the draft, the girls are forced to adapt and learn on the job, as are the coaches.

‘It is a very important skill to learn and one that can only help with their progression.’

The frantic format of FAST5 is an environment that Kersten thrived in during her career and players and spectators alike seemed to take to the adapted tournament.

She said: ‘It is such an interesting version of netball to play and watch.

‘The powerplays at the end of each quarter (where points are doubled) really create a fun environment and mean that you can quickly catch up to an otherwise unassailable score.

‘Shooters really enjoy the fact there are shooting zones worth more points. That aspect of risk and reward netball really lends itself to a fun atmosphere and it was excellent to see everyone getting excited for it.

‘The participation levels of netball over here is incredible to see. There is so much interest in the sport and we really haven’t had much by way of events locally since the pandemic.

‘I am very grateful for Santander’s support in making this happen and giving the public a reason to get excited about netball again. The inter-insular is fast approaching and if an event such as this can encourage the fans back out to watch, that is ideal.’

The former England captain has transitioned into a performance lead role for the Jersey Netball Association, following the birth of her first child.

On being an inspiration for many young Jersey athletes, she said: ‘It is a very special feeling being that person for a lot of our upcoming players. It shows that if you work hard enough and want it enough, you can achieve everything you want to in netball, even growing up on such a small island.

‘For me, it’s nice to be on the other side of things and focusing on continuing to grow from a fan-base and participation aspect.’

The sides, for the most part, were evenly matched, with the championship decided by a single losing bonus point for Black Hawks.

Green Cubs ended as runners-up, with Purple Panthers pipping Blue Tigers on goal difference, four points further back.

Red Swifts were winless on the day to finish fifth.

Hawks goal shooter Lottie Howe was named most valuable player for her outstanding display.

The Team Jets member said: ‘It was really fun to play with a different people. The teams were really even, so every game felt like a good battle that could go either way.

‘Having the aspect of double points at the end of each quarter was really interesting. If you were down by a margin it is a chance to catch up and on the other hand, you can see some big leads disappear pretty quickly.

‘I love the idea of additional points for making shots from further away. When you are in a rhythm it is great, but the pressure can mount pretty fast if you miss a few.

‘The whole event seemed to be really popular with everyone involved, so hopefully it can grow and be bigger and better next year.’

Santander International Super 5

P W D L Pts

Black Hawks 4 3 0 1 17

Green Cubs 4 3 0 1 16

Purple Panthers 4 2 0 2 12

Blue Tigers 4 2 0 2 12

Red Swifts 4 0 0 4 2

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.