The Netball 1st VII had a short trip up the M5 and M6 on Monday to play Sedbergh in the quarter-finals of the National Netball Smile Cup. Having beaten The Grange back in January the squad had been training hard for this next encounter, looking to make the national netball semi-finals for the first time ever and to achieve their coaches’ aims for the season.
Having driven through rain, snow and flooding the girls exited the minibus in good spirits and ready to take to the court. However, with a slight delay in the start, the squad was not deterred and kept focusing on the aim of the trip. After a good warm-up, the squad was ready and raring to take to the court. At first, the play was frantic with the ball going end-to-end with both shooters securing early opportunities. King’s had their fair share of turnover and were more successful in hitting a shooting opportunity and so ended the quarter 17-12. With the shift in momentum most definitely on the King’s side, the girls were asked to maintain their 7 goal lead but to also push on. This game was not going to be won in the first quarter and it would go until the final whistle.
Patience was a key attribute to our play in the 2nd quarter and it really started to show, with 7/8 shots at goal taken and scored from turnovers. At half time the girls had extended their lead and were now in a commanding position, 35-21. Nonetheless, there was no time to rest as Sedbergh was snapping at our heels wanting their comeback. Yet, the squad was determined to hold firm. The physicality of the second half was ramped up and each player had to step up in order to keep possession of the ball whilst under pressure. However, King’s was not about to give up their semi-final position and took care of the ball when in the possession and once it had been turned over, they finished the quarter 52-33.
The final quarter was all about keeping composure and, with a complete shuffle round, the team settled quickly and maintained their high intensity to secure the win 63-41. This was an extremely dominant performance against a team that was well-drilled and very physical. The 1st VII has come a long way since our first training session and all should be very proud of their performance today, executing the plan extremely well but also sticking to the task. Responsibility is everything and every squad member played their part today.
Emma McKenzie Director of Netball said, “This game was played in great spirits but at such high intensity. Their performance was one that I had been waiting for and, now that we have displayed such skill and athleticism, we now need to push on, latching on to that belief that we can beat any opposition.”