Belfast Telegraph

Champions Larkfield are on a roll and ready to rock the Shamrocks

 

By Richard Bullick

Fresh from pulverising Valley last Friday, Northern Ireland Premier League champions Larkfield are chasing the scalp of a neighbouring netball country tonight.

Larkfield got their latest title defence under way with a record-breaking 129-13 annihilation of the top flight newcomers from Newtownabbey and now face Dublin-based Shamrocks.

The Republic of Ireland's national team has been brought into the NI Premier League this season and are playing under the Shamrocks moniker.

Last season the southern side had regular friendlies against local clubs but this time are actually playing for league points.

It is hoped that the arrangement will prove mutually beneficial by helping the Republic's development as an emerging netball nation and increasing competition in the league.

Belfast Ladies and Kingsway are the only realistic challengers to Larkfield as Denise Prue's side go for a fifth title on the trot.

Shamrocks will be up against a Larkfield line-up featuring four of Northern Ireland's silver medallists from this month's European Championships.

NI captain Caroline O'Hanlon leads a team starring Bowman sisters Lisa and Kyla - who netted all 129 goals between them against Valley - plus Neamh Woods.

NI Premier League (tonight, at Lisburn Racquets): Westside v Kingsway, Portadown v Belfast Ladies, Larkfield II v Valley (all 7pm), Larkfield v Shamrocks, Laganside v Donaghadee (both 8.30pm)

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