This year’s Manx Netball Association season began with the Helen Kelly Memorial Tournament held at the NSC.
The annual event is played in memory of Helen Kelly who was a keen and talented netballer. A donation to Walton Hospital in Liverpool was raised from entry fees and a raffle, at the family’s request.
The tournament is a friendly season warm-up with teams often mixed from different leagues. Over the course of the morning, twelve teams competed in two pools.
After three hours of play, the two leagues were topped by teams from Route 1 with two teams from Simcocks coming second. In the first semi-final, Route 1 B took on Simcocks Red who managed to overcome the l Route 1 defence. The second semi-final saw Route 1 A against Simcocks Gold, who were unable to break through the strong teamwork of their top-flight opponents.
This meant old rivals Route 1 A and Simcocks Red Eagles contested an even final, that latter coming out winners at 10-7. Helen’s children Joe and Ashleigh, who attended the live final, presented Simcocks with their trophy.
Simcocks Red Eagles have continued to soar after receiving sponsorship from Simcocks Advocates. The Douglas based law firm have provided financial backing to the team over the last four years with many staff members being keen netballers.
Claire Belcher-Smith, Finance Manager at Simcocks and Captain of the netball club said: “We’re delighted to win the memorial tournament as our players have trained incredibly hard. Without the financial support from Simcocks we wouldn’t have been able to continue to grow and become one of the largest clubs on the Island.”
CEO of Simcocks, Phil Games added: “We are proud to continue to support the Simcocks Red Eagles who have gone from strength to strength over the years. We have many active sportsmen and women at Simcocks and we believe its important to foster the next generation of players on the Island.”