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U18 North Cambridge Academy - Invitational Tournament Report

Today the girls from the North Cambridge Academy worked extremely well, each player working to their best ability, despite the very cold and windy weather. It was a great day of netball for our team as it has been our first opportunity to play matches together. We almost won our first match against Hills Road but lost by one goal in the last minute. In the next few games we lost but still used every minute to add to our experience of playing against very tough and well trained teams. When playing against Denstone College we drew which was the highlight of the day as we started the second half a few goals down but we fought hard to the last second to ensure we could get the last goal in.

Even though we have not been playing together for long, communication developed well through each match especially in the defence third. Leah, Jodie and Megan, who switched between goal keeper, defence and wing defence, all worked tirelessly to turn over the ball and by doing so they succeeded in getting a great many interceptions and tips. Leah and Jodie were also using defensive calling to assist other players whilst defending which is a good skill which we have practised in training. Megan then stood tall with her arms up defending every pass she could which was good as it added pressure to the opposition, therefore causing them to make errors. They all also helped to send the ball down court by ensuring that they were supporting behind for another option.

In the centre court was mainly Chelsea, myself, Emily, Millie and Maisy. Chelsea often played wing defence meaning she was always there as an extra option on the centre pass and she did very well getting interceptions as well as helping to deliver the ball down court. She also evidently made good decisions when deciding who to pass the ball to and which pass to use. I played centre for my matches and I tried my best to get in front of my player, use strong passes and put into practise the forward and lateral passes that we have also learnt in training. Millie switched between playing centre and wing attack and she moved around the court always trying to drive into a space so she could catch the ball and she was always there if you needed someone to pass to. Maisy mainly played wing attack and she did so with great confidence. In every centre pass she was able to drive into a space to receive the ball. Everyone was impressed when they saw her using her defensive skills by marking passes and intercepting the ball. Emily played in centre, wing attack and as a shooter meaning she could show off a range of great skills she has to offer. For example her movement in the shooting circle was very fast and she was ready under the post for any rebounds. When she played wing attack and centre her support on the circle edge and feeds into the circle were effective because she quickly picked up how the team’s shooters played.

Moving onto the shooters, Olivia and Josie began communicating very well together and a lot of the rebounds were caught by these shooters meaning we could try to shoot again. Olivia did some amazingly quick splits so that she could shoot closer to the net, whilst Josie did some long shots. Both Josie and Olivia also had good positioning and passes when doing attacking back lines meaning we could feed the ball back into the circle to shoot.

Overall, today was a great experience for the team and a great opportunity to learn how everyone plays. I would like to say thank you to Helen for coaching us this year so far and for helping organise today’s tournament. Thank you to all the umpires, helpers and first aiders as tournaments like this could not be run without you. Also thank you to Sally for coaching us today, and for giving us all lots of useful advice and improvements. Lastly, thank you to Lou who helped us by scoring in every match today. Well done girls today, I can’t wait to see how we develop further as players in the future.

Ciara Mason-captain of today’s tournament


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