2nds VII Netball v Riley House
Wednesday 14th March 2017
17 – 14
What a day. What a comeback. What a win!
Some matches are ones that you know will stick in your memory for a long time and the 2nd’s final match against Riley House this afternoon will certainly be one of them.
Riley House shot out of the starting blocks and dominated the first quarter. They were getting everything right and we were slipping up. However, every time we got the ball into the circle we scored, yet getting it in there wasn’t as easy as it could have been. The Riley defence were tall and we couldn’t keep trying to loop the ball over their heads. We had to start moving more, getting in front of them and channelling the ball down the wings rather than the centre. The quarter ended 6 -3 to Riley.
The second quarter was pretty similar. We did manage to get the ball into the circle more times and we got another 5 goals. However, Riley were still using their height and jumping for every ball which left us standing still whilst the ball was passed quickly up the court by the opposition. Our defending was much better and the marking was a lot tighter but as the whistle blew for half time we were 10 – 8 down.
It was all change in the third quarter. The girls really upped their game, yet slowed down their pace. With the stalwart supporting parents on the sidelines cheering them on at their attacking end, the girls played some of the best netball I’ve seen this season. They really used the widths of the pitch to their advantage, they paused before making a pass in order to make sure it was accurate and well timed and their movement off the ball was fantastic. Another 5 goals for St. Mary’s and 3 more for Riley meant it was neck and neck at the end of the quarter with 13 goals apiece.
So it was all to play for in the final 10 minutes. Not just the final 10 minutes of the match, but the final 10 minutes of the season. The girls knew they had to dig deep and give it their all. No guts, no glory as they say, and what a 10 minutes it was. They high standard of netball that had emerged in the third quarter continued into the fourth. The girls were clicking, working together and communicating well. The team members off the court were making just as valuable contributions through their supportive comments than the 7 girls on the court. The girls were tired but they kept the momentum going and no one took their foot off the accelerator until the final whistle blew. St. Mary’s had managed to score another 4 goals whilst Riley had scored just 1.
It was a fantastic match and so close between the two teams. It really could have gone either way but I am so utterly proud of the St. Mary’s team, who despite looking pretty exhausted after thirty minutes, all gave 110% until the fortieth minute. Not only that, they did it with great poise and composure, didn’t give up when the going got tough and were modestly delighted at the result and what they had achieved.
Thank you girls for being such great sports this season. Through the wins, losses and draws you have smiled all the way and really come on as a whole team. I look forward to seeing you all back on the court next season as Form 8’s!
The senior girls had their final fixtures this afternoon and what an afternoon it was! Both the 1st's and 2nd's won their matches and the sun was shining as their netball season came to a close. Whilst the opposition had to head back up the road, the St. Mary's girls, plus Mr P and Mrs Scott Aiton, all enjoyed a final match tea together. Well done to the entire squad for a fantastic season."
Photographs by Mrs M Harvey