The O’Neills Wales Series meant international netball was back in Wales and what a great homecoming it was!.

Wales International Test Series – Wales v Gibraltar – Megan Ruiz of Gibraltar and Shona O’Dwyer of Wales

It was a successful weekend in many ways. Although we couldn’t have fans attend due to the Welsh Government COVID-19 restrictions, we managed to successfully stream all 6 games on our website and Facebook page.

The first game of the test series began with a strong performance from the Isle of Man. After a 9-goal lead in the first quarter, the Isle of Man pushed on to beat Gibraltar 55 goals to 44. Wales started their first game of the series where they left off from the Isle of Man Series in November 2021. A 56-goal win against the Republic of Ireland secured our first win of the series. After a great start against the Irish side, it was great to see Celyn Emanuel get on court for her first cap for Wales in the second quarter. The side pushed on to increase their lead every quarter to win 69-13.

Day 2 saw more, great on court battles. The first game ended with the Republic of Ireland beating Gibraltar in a 21-goal win (54-33). Despite the final score, the match was tightly contested. Wales’s second game closely followed the final whistle of the Republic of Ireland versus Gibraltar. With Wales’s starting line-up remaining the same, the seniors were off to a great start, leading 43 goals to 16 against the Isle of Man at the half time whistle. The final whistle of day 2 saw Wales head in the right direction for the series win.

The final day of action was gripping! The penultimate match of day 3 ended with a draw. It was non-stop from both the Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland. The 27th ranked team in the world, Isle of Man were winning 20-26 at half time against the 26th ranked team, Republic Of Ireland. Ireland managed to

fight back to level the game at the final whistle (45-45). The final match of the series saw Wales keep their winning streak. We beat Gibraltar with an impressive 55 goal lead (82-27). For the Wales seniors, there were 2 new caps to complete the series with Morganne Dunne and Rebecca Baker taking to the court in the final match for Wales and for the series.

Throughout the series, there were major milestones. Joelle Moreno and Fran Duffy reached their 50th appearances for Gibraltar and the Republic of Ireland respectively. Isle of Man saw Lexa Hattersley and Holly Hennessy receive their first caps along with Natalie Foster and Sophie Murray 

also receiving their first caps for the Republic of Ireland. In addition to the Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland’s first caps, as previously mentioned, Celyn Emanuel, Morganne Dunne and Rebecca Baker all received their first caps for Wales. A huge congratulations to all who received their first and 50th caps, we hope to see many more!

With impressive performances in all 3 matches, there was no questioning the player of the series award going to Ella Powell-Davies.

Wales Netball would like to take this time to thank all of the athletes, management, umpires, partners, volunteers, and staff who participated and who helped to run the series. Without you all, the series wouldn’t have been as triumphant as it was!