Match Report
Salisbury Cathedral School Girls-U11A vs  Bryanston School
On: Wednesday, 19 Jan 2022
Venue: Away

The girls had the great fortune to take part today in our first netball tournament in two years, at Bryanston School. There were 20 teams in their age group, divided into 4 pools of 5 teams.

The girls got off to a good start drawing 1-1 with Dumpton, starting with energy and good defensive play. The next game could have gone either way but we struggled to net the goals, despite plenty of possession in the D so we had a narrow 1-3 loss to Hanford. St Swithuns up next: they were always going to be a tough gig (ultimately coming top of the pool) so the 9-0 loss was a bit bruising but I was impressed with the team's continued tenacity as the goals mounted up. Cheam were skilled and capitalised on our weaker rotation, catching us out with our slow reaction to a turnover, leaving their shooters in control of the D.

Going through 5th to the Spoon we knew what we had to do to improve our game: closer man-marking and a faster reaction to a turnover (creating more space). Perrot Hill were our semi-final opponents and it was a well-matched game. With Zara shooting superbly and good circle work between her and Jess, we took the 3-1 win. Fantastic! The girls were now beginning to get to grips with new positions and the win gave them a real boost. Into the final and up against Sherborne Prep. Despite better court movement, plenty of possession and determined defending, Sherborne got the better of us, with more accurate shooting being the difference between the two: 4-3 the narrow scoreline at the end. So close!

It was the girls' first experience of playing the new Stingers format, where players rotate positions every quarter (or half). Success depends on players' ability to adapt to new positions with ease and it relies on a degree of shooting ability from all. It's a great way to get a good all-round understanding of the game and today's tournament was a brilliant crash course for lots of schools. I am proud of the girls' grit - not letting their heads go down when the scoreline didn't go their way - and the smile on their faces when they won their semi-final match was a joy to see. Plenty to take away from today, not least how inspiring these big events are for ones so young. Well done girls.

Mrs Staines