With 12 teams in this year's Mixed Nationals, it was an exciting contest to see so many newly-formed teams taking to the stage ready to impress. 2022 Nationals saw the introduction of new teams Phoenix Fusion, Knights Mixed, Northern Titans, West Cheshire Warriors and Army Mixed. It wasn't just about the new-combers though, we also saw the return of London Giants, the University of Warwick, Manchester Spartans and South West Hawks. We also invited an EMMNA Invitational team back to see if we can find some talent amongst players who are yet to join a team, as we did in 2021.
The level of mixed netball had increased drastically this year, with the involvement of many VNSL and England Mixed players on court across multiple teams.
We started off the competition with two pools of 6 battling in the group stages. Northern Titans displayed a very strong start in their pool, winning all of their 5 games, placing them top of the group at the end of the day's play. Knights Swords placed second in this group, having lost only to the strong Titans side.
The second pool was very tight all round, with the top 3 teams only separated by goal difference. Spartans and Giants proved to be very strong competitors, claiming first and second respectively in their group. Knights Shields only just missed out on a place in the semi-finals.
On the second day, we had play-offs to establish the remaining positions, as well as semi-finals and finals to showcase the best our mixed teams had to offer.
Giants faced Titans in the first semi-final, with the Titans' consistency leading them to capitalise on any mistakes made by Giants, leading to a victory and securing their place in the final.
Similarly, Knights Swords showed great determination to break down the Spartans' attack, with James Harris getting many interceptions to assist his team in a strong win against a very strong Spartans team.
The final was a rematch of the very first game of the tournament, between Knights Swords and Northern Titans, where Titans had got the better of Knights. Being newly-formed teams, they both had a lot to prove to themselves and the large crowd watching on. Titans had the morale, knowing they'd won the first clash, but Knights had the motivation to bounce back from that defeat. The match was back and forth for the first-half, with Knights pushing out a slight lead. With Knights' and London Pulse's Kira Rothwell performing well, and Titans' and Thunder's Amy Clinton shooting excellently, this turned out to be a very competitive final.
However, after Knights gained that early advantage, they were able to stay ahead and ended up pushing further and extending their lead, crowning Knights Swords the 2022 EMMNA Mixed National Champions!
South West Hawks
West Cheshire Warriors