Northern Ireland netballers secure Commonwealth Games qualification

Northern Ireland goal shoot Lisa Bowman
Northern Ireland goal shoot Lisa Bowman starred in the recent Quad Series in Lisburn

Northern Ireland's netball team have qualified for next year's Commonwealth Games in Australia.

The latest world rankings published on Tuesday saw Northern Ireland move up to 10th and inside the necessary top-12 position for Gold Coast qualification.

Victory in the recent Quad Series in Lisburn against Barbados, Singapore and the Republic of Ireland helped ensure Northern Ireland's qualification.

Scotland also squeezed in as 12th qualifiers as Trinidad missed out.

Qualification confirmation came as a great relief to the Northern Ireland players with captain Caroline O'Hanlon admitting they had had an "incredibly nervous wait".

"There was great euphoria after beating Barbados in the Quad Series final and at least we knew we'd done all we could by winning that tournament but nobody was counting chickens," said the Armagh woman.

"We weren't just sure how the maths would work out when everything was factored in so hearing we've made it is a massive relief and breaking into the top 10 is the icing on the cake.

"The Commonwealths are the pinnacle for any netballer and after such a memorable experience at Glasgow 2014 we're delighted to be heading to Gold Coast next April."

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