John Walton

Ainsworth in Storm's Netball Superleague grand final win

FORMER Ballina junior Kathryn Ainsworth became part of history by winning the Netball Superleague grand final with the Surry Storm in England.

It was the first time the Storm has won the title since the competition started in 2006.

They had a convincing 56-39 win against Manchester Thunder in the final.

Ainsworth, 30, has been part of the team for the past four years and played in the 2014 final when they lost by a point.

"We were undefeated all last season and to lose in the last few seconds really put things in perspective," Ainsworth said.

"You can go through a whole season undefeated but it's still that one game that counts.

"This year we focussed on getting through the season and making the top four.

"We weren't necessarily concentrating on winning every single game, it was more about let's build and get to the end."

The Netball Superleague is the elite competition in England and Wales. Storm have been one of the top teams in London and south-east England.

Ainsworth played all her junior netball with the Ballina association and represented New South Wales as a 17-year-old.

She is a former North Coast and NSW Institute of Sport scholarship holder.

Ainsworth also captained the Queensland under-21 side when she lived in Brisbane in 2006.

She was eventually picked up by the Storm academy after moving to London in 2010.

"I think of all those years I've played netball and all I ever wanted was one title," Ainsworth said. "It was such a special feeling and for the Storm as a franchise to finally get a Superleague title makes it even better.

"There are still times where people congratulate me or I have a flashback looking at the pictures to realise what we achieved.

"I catch myself smiling and thinking what it meant to win."


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