At the end of a very busy sporting week at AKS the U13 netball team travelled to North Wales to compete for the first time in the Rydal Penrhos School Netball Tournament and certainly did themselves proud finishing in 3rd place.
In the first game the girls started confidently against our hosts Rydal Penrhos B team and showed superb skills and tactics to take an early lead. This settled the nerves and with Ellie S shooting well we continued to increase our advantage and at the break we were 10 – 0 ahead. Good passing netball with Hannah T linking our defence and attack well saw us move the ball efficiently down the court and at the final whistle we had our first points on the board with a convincing 21 – 1 victory.
We faced a stiffer challenge against Rydal Penrhos A team in the next game but again controlled passing netball saw us convert our first few centre passes to take an early lead. Great marking by the whole team and defending circle work by Mia W and Tara W made scoring difficult for Rydal to score and superb shooting at the other end saw us extend our lead and at the final whistle we had with another win 10-0.
Game 3 saw us against a local club team, Pwllheli B. Unsure of what to expect against a club side we started nervously and our play was scrappy allowing Pwllheli to score the first goal. We then started to work harder and mark closer and slowly we got into our rhythm and enjoyed a lot of possession. Good team and positional play saw us create scoring opportunities which were duly converted by Ellie S, Ruby W and Emily T and at the final whistle we had extended our lead to 11 – 1 and we had our third win on the board.
The next game was against Pwllheli’s top team and it was a great game. Pwllheli played some superb netball at the start of the match and took an early lead as we struggled to raise our game after three easy wins. Mia and Tara W defended superbly despite giving away several inches in height and made it difficult for the shooters to get free in the circle. Improved dodging and passing saw us fight back to within one goal. Pwllheli marked well to make it difficult for us to keep possession and in a very close game they held their nerve and despite our best efforts we could not edge infront and at the final whistle the score was 4 – 7. Although not a win we still added a point to our tournament total as we scored over half of our opponents score.
Game 5 proved to be our toughest of the tournament against eventual winners St.Marys Hall. The first half was very even with both teams converting their centre passes with good movement and passing. Defenders Tara and Mia W again used their jumping ability to good effect in our defending circle and good spacing and movement on the court saw us work the ball into our attacking circle effectively but our shooters lacked their usual accuracy and chances went begging. This allowed St.Marys Hall to edge ahead after the break and at the final whistle the score was 6 – 12 to SMH but still earning us an additional point.
The final game was a fitting end to a great tournament as we got back to winning ways with a 12 – 5 victory over Denstone College. We started well and converted our first centre pass to boost confidence. More great defending and centre court play from Jenny D, Annaleise H, Hattie R and Hannah T linked our defending and attacking circle well and with shooters back on target we deservedly won to finish on a high.
At the end of the tournament the U13 team finished a creditable 3rd, with 22points behind St Mary's Hall - 30 pts and Pwhelli A- 25 pts. All the girls played exceptionally well in their first outing in the tournament and it was a superb end to a very sporting week for the U13’s.