TWELVE teams competed for the South-West Dorset Netball League’s annual charity tournament.

A total of £373.25 was raised for the chosen charities – The British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK.

This year, the tournament was dedicated to the memory of Ann Rudkin and Pauline Powala.

Ann was the ‘umpiring guru’ of the league for many years – she would tutor, mentor and assess umpires locally and further afield – even umpiring for Dorset back when there were regular county fixtures.

She was a prominent committee member for many years and was the life and soul of league social events, yet she was fully committed and professional when she donned her ‘whites’.

Without Ann’s dedication and enthusiasm, many current umpires would not be where they are today.

Ann sadly passed on a flight back to her home in Spain and the British Heart Foundation was chosen as the charity to honour her.

Pauline (nee Cheeseman) started playing in the league in 1980 at the age of 16.

She was passionate about playing and umpiring and she inspired numerous youngsters to take up netball. She continued to play and umpire when she moved to Hertfordshire and her daughter Natasha still plays in the local league there. Pauline succumbed to cancer earlier this year. In remembrance of Pauline, Cancer Research UK was chosen as one of this year’s charities.

Tournament organisers Sian Whitlock and Donna Butcher from Coastal Cheese and Meraki said: “It was great to see more than 100 ladies take to the courts with the teams coming from as far afield as Blandford and Bournemouth.

“We are so pleased to have raised more than £300 for the charities.”

The teams battled it out in 40-minute matches.

As well as a spot in the final, an individual award for overall ‘players’ player’ was up for grabs; each team selected a player of the match from the opposing side after each game, with the number of nominations tallied up at the end of the day.

Weymouth-based Expert Catering had a double whammy of surprises with a place in the semi-finals with Laura Osbourne scooping the trophy for the players’ player accolade.

Kat Frampton, captain of Beaminster Netball Club, said: “We were so excited to get into the semi-finals, we had a great day and the weather was a bonus.”

Other semi-finalists included two teams from club Arethusans – Belle Construction and New Body Fitness.

Club coach Lou Bugler said “I’m so proud of both of our teams making it into the semi-finals.”

The day culminated with a thrilling final.

Defending champions Belle claimed victory over Expert Catering in a well-fought final.

Belle were delighted with their win and a spokesman said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to clock some pre-season minutes and settle in our new signings, all whilst helping raise money for charity.

“Our squad have had a blast and delighted to be crowned champions.

“We would like to thank all those involved with organising the event and delivering a first-class tournament.”

The league would encourage anyone thinking about getting back into netball to get in touch.