Match Report
Oundle School 1st VII vs  National Schools County Rounds
On: Tuesday, 10 Oct 2023
Venue: at Home

It was a perfect day for netball, warm but not hot, a breeze but not windy. We had lunch together as a team in the sports hall and discussed the opposition we were to face. As we set foot onto the courts we were determined to act professional; we rehearsed some set play and stretched efficiently making sure we were in the right mindset to win. Our first match against Wellingborough was always going to be tough, they were one of the stronger sides we were going to face today. Some fantastic confident shots from Eloise A and Avery HT saw us win 15-6, it was good to get a game under our belts and the ball rolling. We then played Pitsford, and we reduced our playing standard, which is often a trouble when playing less experienced teams. We were throwing balls away and weren’t on our A-game. Fortunately in the second half we reeled it back and some neat through-court play from Bess C won us the game 13-3. We then had a break and fuelled up on Jelly Tots whilst carefully watching Bishop Stopford: our next competitor. Bishop Stopford looked good so we knew we had to bring back the playing standard we played against Wellingborough. Thankfully, some fantastic defence from Peri D and Lucy A meant we could turn over their centres and win the match 15-4. Next to play were our local neighbours, Prince William. They were sharp, frequently bouncing the ball beneath our defensive arms, unfortunately our shooting duo of Amie H and Evie P was too strong and we won the game 16-3. Our penultimate match was against Sponne, some excellent spying of the scoreboards meant we knew they were going to be good. We only just beat them last year and you could tell they wanted to dominate this rematch. They led the first half however in the final three minutes we clawed it back to 6-6 with some great feeds into Eloise A from Camilla Y. Unfortunately in the second half they turned over our centres and started to lead; tired from the last four games, our heads dropped and we weren’t chasing back. The defence fought valiantly and Mirabel A was marking relentlessly in an attempt to keep the ball out of the D. Despite her excellent work alongside Peri D, we lost 13-9. However, we had only five minutes to pick ourselves up before the final game of the day. If we were to let this last match go, we were letting our shot at qualifying go too. We picked ourselves up with some helpful comments from Mrs W-D and walked back courtside, energy levels soaring once more. We dominated the match with some unbelievable interceptions from Nicole I; the team worked cohesively stretching each other to receive the balls far from any prowling defence. We won the final game 11-2 which meant we came second overall and qualified for the Regional Finals in February.