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U18 Perse county tournament report: 

 

The Perse tournament was a great experience for all of the girls who represented the U18 Cambridge county South squad and despite only playing a few times as a team and the vast majority of us being year 11s, we managed to work amazingly well together. As the day progressed, we became a closer team both on and off the court, which was lovely to see. We finished with 4 wins and 5 losses and you could really tell how much we blended as a team as the day progressed. 

 

We started the day quite unfamiliar with how one another played, however we quickly managed to work together to provide available space and options for each other. Throughout the first few matches, we managed to consistently drive forward for the ball and provide at least 2 options for passes which helped to maintain possession in each match. It was great to see how different combinations of people were working together in various areas of the court. In particular, Pip and Hannah worked extremely well together throughout the day as a GD and GK pair and as the matches progressed, they learnt how to read off each other and create an intense and pressurised environment for the opposition, leading to many errors and held balls by the other team. Both Hannah and Pip caused an exceptional number of turnovers which boosted our confidence as a team and helped to secure our wins. As well as this, as our matches progressed, we saw even more turnovers from the defensive area. Particularly Carolina who intensified the court as a WD/WA and consistently turned over many crucial passes made by the opposition and she prevented the ball from coming down the court to the opposition’s shooting end. 

 

 As the day continued, our confidence began to increase and despite losing a few matches, we fought some amazing games. In particular, the match against Stephen Perse was one of the toughest of the day but it was the turning point of the tournament where we began to really gel as a team and learn how one another played. In particular during this match Annie’s placement in the D was exceptional and allowed plenty of space for both herself and the GS to receive the ball, without having the pressure of shooting from far out. Although we didn’t score as many goals during this game as in previous matches, we had significantly more shooting opportunities than in previous games which was a really positive thing to see and helped to boost our confidence when preparing and playing in the future matches.

 

We won 4 matches in the tournament and they were all in the second half of the day – this just proves how much we improved as a team as the matches went on. These matches were so successful because we were gaining so much confidence as the day progressed and you could definitely see this in our match play. As well as this, as the matches progressed, we got in front of our players a lot more and didn’t receive the ball flat as much as in previous games. This enabled us to maintain possession a lot more than our opposition and create more shooting opportunities. Throughout these wins, in particular our centre court players worked so well together and it was so great to see Lottie being a really reliable player, working the ball down the court exceptionally well and consistently creating a second option to pass to. Also, Lucy worked exceptionally well as Centre and gained so many turnovers as she routinely read how the opposition was playing and their passing habits and used that to her advantage, resulting in so many outstanding interceptions. As well as the centre court players, throughout the tournament our shooters kept getting better and better. In particular Georgia who’s shooting accuracy was outstanding and kept improving as the matches progressed. Her strong and grounded split landings allowed her to get closer to the post and consistently score goals which led us to victory multiple times. 

 

To end the day, we played a play-off game against Kimbolton winning 10-8. This was an amazing end to the day and a really well-deserved win. Our shooting accuracy was exceptional and also the movement in the D between the shooting pair was such an improvement from earlier on in the tournament. As well as this, the play-off game was so successful due to the accurate feeds into the D. During this game Charlotte in particular was an amazing Centre and fed the ball outstandingly accurately and quickly to the shooters which supplied so many shooting more opportunities for us. 

 

The tournament was a wonderful day and allowed us to get to know each other better as a team - it was great to see us getting closer and supporting each other during the many matches. 

 

A special well done to Hannah who got voted player of the tournament by the majority of the U18 squad who played today. You worked so hard and you’re an amazing defender - a very well-deserved POM! :)

 

Amelie Day

Captain – U18 South

 

South Academy

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