The Exmouth Netball League is already shaping up for a special season, with the Comets flying high at the top, closely followed by the Gazelles and the Exejets.

In the latest round of fixtures, the league fixture at Bicton saw the Gazelles take on the Diamonds for the inaugural meeting of these two local teams.

From the start, the Diamonds, who are looking to pull away from the bottom of the table, came out full of energy and caught the Gazelles off guard. They repeatedly piled on the pressure and forced mistakes from the team currently lying second in the league.

Building on well-drilled passages of play, initiated in mid-court by Lucy Birch and Lexi Lapwood, the Diamonds gradually built their goal tally. Only some excellent interceptions by Gazelles GD, Katie Bright, prevented Diamonds from racing away in the first half.

From the half-time break, however, the tide began to turn. The Gazelles drew on their experience, shifted players round and played a calmer game. Moving Aimee Keast into Centre provided a talented pivot point. She will be much missed now that she heads off travelling to Australia!

Unfortunately, Diamonds GK Shannon Beverley, who had played a stalwart challenge role, sustained an ankle injury and had to leave the court. This left the Diamonds’ defence exposed and the Gazelles seized the opportunity.

Dynamic play by Nicky Ferguson co-ordinated, first with Sharon Griffiths and then Sally George, to achieve accurate shooting and Gazelles progressed to win the game 51 - 20.

On this occasion, the Gazelles were one leap ahead but the Diamonds, a young, disciplined team, have a sparkling future.

The Exmouth Netball League Facebook page has plenty of information on the latest results and also guidance on how to enjoy this wonderful sport, which brings the full range of physical and mental benefits.

Netball is a proven sport for improving hand-eye coordination, building muscle strength and stamina, while also enhancing flexibility. From a mental perspective, netball is a fantastic sport for boosting confidence, enhancing team-work skills and developing the ability to solve problems.

The Exmouth Netball League is a fantastic competition and the door is always open for new players. If you fancy giving it try, get in touch with a local team and enjoy the journey.