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Sunday 13th of May saw Royston travel to Stanborough School in Welwyn to compete in the Eastern Regional Club’s League Playoff tournament, representing Cambridgeshire following their victory in the Cambs Premier League.  Representing the other East Region counties were Star (Thurrock), Harpenden (Herts), Thetford (Suffolk), Team Beds (Bedfordshire) and Chelmsford (Essex).  They were joined by Grangers, who’d finished second-bottom in East Regional division three.  Up for grabs were two places in that division. 

The tournament was a round-robin format, with 24 minute matches, and very little downtime, so a lot of netball to get through.  Royston’s first match was against Thetford, and any nerves were settled with a 21-15 win.  Match two against Star saw a low-scoring first half, with Royston holding a narrow 5-3 lead.  Coach Stimson made some quick changes at the interval, and the girls pulled ahead to win 15-8.  The third match versus Chelmsford saw Royston keep up the momentum to lead 12-4 at half time, but a fightback from Chelmsford closed the gap to 19-13 at fill time.  The fourth match before their break was against Harpenden, who had won all of their opening matches, and they proved too strong for Royston, who were unlucky to miss out on the extra point, going down 20-9.  By now, there were some tired legs, especially in defence, where Emma W. and Anna were working like Trojans, so a match off allowed some time to rest and refuel before a crucial match against Grangers, who were fighting to retain their place in the regional league.  The match was nip-and-tuck all the way, with Grangers a goal up at the interval.  Royston fought back hard, and took the lead early in the second half, but were never able to get a clear lead, and Grangers equalized with the last throw of the match, 21-21.  Royston’s fate now lay in other’s hands, needing Harpenden to inflict a heavy defeat on Grangers.  
The girls did their best to help the goal difference, with a fantastic second-half performance against Team Beds despite very tired legs, but Grangers managed to salvage the extra losing point against Harpenden, meaning Royston placed third, a single point behind Grangers.  Harpenden were well-deserved winners, remaining undefeated all day.

The girls did the club proud, however, and can take confidence from coming so close!

Coach Tracey Stimson and the squad would like to thank all those who came to support them on the day, it was fantastic to see so many from the club, but also members of other Cambridgeshire clubs and country officials – your support did club and county proud!

Squad:  Anelka, Anna, Daisy, Emma C, Emma W, George, Hannah, Kelly, Maddy, Megan & Nicky.


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