Match Report
Oundle School 1st VII vs  Regional Finals
On: Saturday, 26 Jan 2019
Venue: Away

On Saturday 26th January, the 1st VII played five matches in hopes of making it through the Regional rounds and going on to Nationals. The tournament was held in Leister and we arrived early in order to warm up properly before our first match. It was vital that we warmed up prior to starting our games, as the matches were only seven minutes each way, so there was no time to warm up on court. The thorough warm up obviously payed off, as we won our first match against Carres Grammar School 14-3. We were on straight away and our next match was potentially the most mentally challenging match of the day. We started the first half well, coming off at half time with an advantage of one goal over the opposition. However, we lost our footing in the second half and our play became rather sporadic and rushed. Despite Phoebe Ashby’s (Lx) excellent goal scoring, we finished having lost to Ecclesbourne 8-9. Our morale had been seriously battered as the score did not reflect our abilities as a team. The timing of such a match was not great either, as we were due to play our hardest competitors of the day next, Oakham, who had beaten us only a week previous. After an encouraging team talk, we went on to the court with a new-found determinism. In my opinion, the next fourteen minutes contained some of the best quality of netball our team has ever portrayed. The ball pace was rapid and we were turning over ball after ball. Stella Simpson (Lx) made multiple impressive turnovers and Ella Johnsrud (Sn) displayed excellent ball placement, ensuring the ball passed quickly down the court. At half time, the score stood at 4-6 to Oakham. The second half was as equally impressive and we continued to play at a high standard of netball. Unfortunately, Oakham just took away the victory, with a final score of 8-11. Regardless of the score, the team played excellently and it was definitely a highlight of the day. Our next match was against Bilborough and by this point we were becoming progressively more exhausted. Consequently, our quality of play suffered and we began to make avoidable errors. Nevertheless, as a result of excellent feeds into our attacking D by Mia Stanton (D) and Phoebe Gammell (K) we came away with an impressive score of 8-2. Our final match was against Wellingborough and we had the privilege of playing this match inside. By this point, we knew for certain, that we would not be going through to the Nationals but remained determined to take 5th place and finish with a win. We played excellently, passing the ball at pace from one end to another, making multiple turnovers. Defence was particularly impressive, only conceding three goals. Emily HT (Lx) showed excellent reach when defending the goal. The final score stood at 11-3 to Oundle. Despite not getting the desired result, the day was an overall success. We connected as a team and showed grit and fortitude. We all went home utterly exhausted, ready to enjoy the remainder of our exeats and a much-deserved rest.

Player of the Tournament – Hannah Wakeford