U’10 A Netball v Witham Hall (H)

Team: Tallulah, Milly B (Captain), Katie, Francesca, Hattie/Daisy, Liana, Jemima
Result: Stoneygate 10 – Witham 10

The much awaited netball season has begun! Everyone was excited (including the coach!) about the first netball match and wow!, it all began with a tough game against one of our notoriously difficult opponents.

In the first minute it was very clear that this game was destined to be close! The 2 teams were scoring in turn and the centre court action was fast and physical. Witham had 2 very tall players – one at each end of the court – but their most dominant player was a tall shooter who, quite frankly, could nearly touch the net on the goal post!
However, our fast and leapy two defender, Jemima and Liana, bounced and launched themselves onto the ball at every opportunity and these two girls retrieved so many loose balls along with balls out of the air! They worked tirelessly and with concentration in the shooting circle, throughout the whole game.

The ball was often in play in the centre court for long periods as interceptions were continually being won by both sides. Hattie (WD) and Fran (C) linked their passes together well and both girls were busy trying to progress the ball from the defence into Stoneygate’s attacking third. They both marked the ball and their opponent effectively and Fran used her speed to quickly change direction to seek another free space.

Going into the 2nd half the score was 5-4 to Witham, our super shooters, Tallulah and Milly, having scored 2 goals each. In the centre court the battle for the ball continued and the game was becoming faster! Katie, who was not feeling so well, nevertheless delivered accurate and well timed passes into the Stoneygate shooters. She worked hard at her movement skills and being in a free space.

Everyone knew it was a tight game, including the spectating parents/grandparents from both schools. Stoneygate had made a WD change and Hattie and Daisy swapped A/B teams, Hattie having done a good job with the A’s. Daisy settled quickly, with no apparent nerves, and she was soon in action at our defending back-line pass, using the circle edge (learnt the day before) to create space to receive the ball securely from Jemima. The pass was then sent directly to an always alert Liana (GD). It was important that this set play from the back line was successful as it sets up a Stoneygate goal, and it did just that. Scoring was still end to end! Milly and Tallulah both shooting with great style and balance. These two girls are very aware of their movement and space whilst working together in the small shooting area. Tallulah even netted the longest shot of the day, great!

The game had a couple of minutes remaining and Witham scored, making the score 10-9 to Witham. For almost all the remaining time the ball was intercepted, lost, thrown, dropped, scrambled for ….. the time ticking away. Witham’s GD intercepted the ball (she was an excellent player) in the Stoneygate shooting circle and in panic
she threw the ball randomly, high into the centre court. The ball was tipped several times and finally Daisy jumped so high, caught the ball with arms outstretched, wow!, another chance! Daisy then launched the ball into the space which Milly B was running into …. Milly shot quickly before the defence could mark it …. the ball whisked through the net!!! Stoneygate 10 – Witham 10. Ten seconds later, on the walk back to the centre pass, the timer went off. Phew, what a fantastic match.

Special mention goes to EVERYONE as this was a massive team effort, everyone determined to play their best. Also, our team challenge of playing with good footwork skills – VERY well done everyone.

Player of the match and of the day goes to DAISY who played with determination to get her job right at WD, having listened so well in training, and for making the final interception of the game to enable Stoneygate to draw the match. Well done Daisy!

An exciting season must surely lie ahead…

Mrs S. Frisby