After having time to fully prepare for the home fixture the 1st Team were both psychologically and physically ready for the game. This was demonstrated significantly within the first 2 minutes of the game, as the team stormed to a 3-0 lead. I am not sure whether it was shock or fatigue, that then hit the starting seven as we then went behind 4-7 in the first quarter. Some changes were made in both the defence and midfield zones to match up against the opposition more effectively. An objective was set to equal the score by half time. This unfortunately was not quite achieved but the gap in the score was drawn closer due to excellent conversions from Sarah Davies and Lexi Freeman, bringing the half time score to 10-13. At the half way point legs were obviously tired but still determined to play well and execute tactics practiced on the training court. Abbotsholme entered the third quarter with specific roles to complete. With end to end action from the start, possibly due to some misjudgements, but definitely due to great defending from Kinsey St Denis and Katie McGregor the score lines were brought closer again to 16-18. With one quarter left all girls wanted to be on court and make a contribution! A few radial changes were made, putting Charlotte Abberger to GD (normally GA) to allow fresh legs in the defensive zone, allowed the midfield to pass the ball with fluency. Communication was much improved and every effort was put into maintaining possession. The atmosphere was tense with no player wanting to make an error as the scoreline was so close. Abbotsholme did go ahead in the final quarter but with mistakes made from both sides, passes being pushed that little too far and desperate defending the final score was 23-23. This was an excellent game, every player deserves to be voted 'Player of the Match' but this accolade goes to Lexi Freeman (as voted for by Chellaston). Well done girls, cannot wait for next weeks match which is SIGS at home at 3.00pm.
The U14 team travelled away to the Friary School in Lichfield. It was not their best day and they very quickly found themselves behind. Despite the girls trying to muster up the energy and motivation to compete against their strong opposition, things continued to slip away from them and the game was very much dominated by The Friary throughout the match. We will re-group this next week and be ready back on track for next weeks game where many of the U14 team will be playing in a mixed U14/U15 match against SIGs.
The U13 netball team played hosts to a travelling Chellaston team. The game got under way and Abbotsholme were the first to score with some clinical shots from Jade and Tara Witcomb. Chellaston did hit back but found themselves behind 2-4 at the end of the first quarter.
During the second period of play, Chellaston were looking much stronger and began to score well. Abbotsholme did respond but found themselves trailing 8-7 at half time. After a good team talk we knew that if we raised our game, we could win it. Abbotsholme started strongly and were playing with renewed confidence. The attacking play began to flow and shots were once again flying in. The defence were too, playing well and were able to make vital interceptions. At the end of the third quarter Abbotsholme had deservedly matched their opposition 12 all.
It was all to play for in the last quarter and we were full of confidence and belief that we could go on to win the match. We started strongly and continued our scoring run of frequent goals. Georgina McGregor was a vital link in all areas of the court which enabled the ball to flow from defence through to attack. Abbotsholme continued to go from strength to strength. They were deserved winners, 18-14. Overall, an impressive performance and all players were key in such a good win. Chellaston voted Abbotsholme's 'Players Player' to Tara Witcomb for her strong attacking play and her excellent shooting.
The U11 “ankle biters” also had a match this week, against Smallwood manor school. The game set off at a high rate of knots, with some lovely passes up and across the court. Harriet Cox had an outstanding game as Goal Attack, working hard through the centre of the court and shooting some excellent goals. It was a warm welcome back to the team for Lorna Cooper who also worked hard and scored some very confident goals to keep topping up the Abbotsholme tally. In defence, Indya Godwin-Bratt and Hollie Wood kept their opponents out of the game with some lovely interceptions and very tight marking. It was a fantastic performance by all 9 squad members and it is as a result of their hard work throughout the term. Well done to Harriet Cox who was 'Player of the Match'.
Whilst giving their all on the Netball court for Abbotsholme this season, Tara Witcomb, Jade Witcomb, Adrienne Kuster and Alex Kuster are now regular members of Ashbourne Netball Club. They train with their squads every Sunday and have weekly matches on a Tuesday evening. Their enthusiasm and motivation for their sport is to be commended and congratulations on an outstanding season for all of the girls both for their school team and their club. Claudia Bettson-Burdett has also been very busy outside of school, working her way through various trials and selection processes for hockey. Her hard work and excellence has recently been awarded following, a tough tournament last weekend, and Claudia has been selected to play for Staffordshire County Hockey Team in a forthcoming inter counties tournament.
It is exciting to see many of our girls, enjoying their sport and being confident to spread their wings into club sports and it only bodes well for the future of girls sport at Abbotsholme!