Witham 1st VII Netball Round-up

25 Feb 2015

1st VII Netball team:  Captains Felicity Bridges Webb & Hattie Grace; Poppy Chatterton, Catherine Swanston, Jenna Lloyd, Sophia Ktori, Isabella Manara, Philippa Hix.

The 1st VII Netball team has produced some outstanding play so far this term!  The players have really grown in confidence and self-belief and it has been super watching them produce the standard of play that I have seen so far.

Saturday 17th January  - Away - The season started off with the Kimbolton Tournament at Kimbolton School.  We played a round robin of 4 games against; Swanbourne Prep, Bedford Girls’, Kimbolton and Queenswood School.  The girls played consistently well in very cold conditions and the standard of play was excellent as the games progressed.  Witham won the tournament and the results were as follows:

v Swanbourne Won 11-2

v Bedford Prep Won 5-0

v Kimbolton Won 5-2

v Queenswood Won 4-2

Wednesday 21st January  - Home - The next game of the season was against a very tall Oundle U13A side.  Playing Senior School sides is always a difficult, tough fixture, but very good practice for our Witham teams.  Witham started off working hard on and off the ball, with some excellent interceptions and man to man marking by Poppy Chatterton and Catherine Swanston.  We led 8-0 after just ten minutes.  By half time, the mid court players; Jenna Lloyd, Felicity Bridges Webb and Sophia Ktori had certainly warmed up, with the first time ball sent at speed and direction, giving the triangular play in the attack pace and accuracy for Isabella Manara and Hattie Grace to really lose their defence and have clear shots at goal.  We led 17-3 at three quarter time, with an end result of 25-6.  A promising performance by all.

Wednesday 28th January – Away – Witham travelled to St Hugh’s to play their 1st VII side.  After a long journey, the girls were all set to try out some new game plans and tactics.  After the first quarter, Witham were leading 12-0!  The game plan and tactics were certainly working – they just had to keep it up for forty minutes!  The second quarter calmed down and we only scored 3 more goals.  After a half time ‘focussed’ talk, the girls were ready to take on the second half.  Witham played consistent, steady play, which gave us the match by 24-2.  A valuable lesson to ‘keep the ball and not kill the ball’ was taken from this game into the next!

Saturday 31st January – Home – Witham’s benchmark game against Spratton was going to be tough, as matches against this side are always hard.  Witham took control and the shooting pair of Hattie Grace and Isabella Manara certainly found their accuracy and shot some excellent goals.  Witham’s short, sharp play was in place and the speed of the ball from Poppy Chatterton, through to Catherine Swanston, Jenna Lloyd, Felicity Bridges Webb and Sophia Ktori was quite exceptional and a joy to watch.  The girls deserved a well-earned win of 20 goals to 1.  Well done.

Wednesday 4th February – Away – Witham played against Stamford High School U13A side in a late game, on a very cold evening!  Stamford had a very strong side and Witham were going to have to stick to their plan and play for each other in this game.  After the first quarter, Witham were down 2-3, with their heads down.  It was time to see what the Witham girls were about.  After a quarter time talk and individual advice, the girls went back on court to change the game around.  They listened and they did exactly what they needed to do.  At half time, we led 8-5 and the girls continued to believe, leading at three quarter time 11-5.  The final quarter, Witham had to keep their heads and believe in their own style of play and ‘will to win’.  The end result was Witham 15, Stamford 6.  The defence and mid court play was as good as I had seen it so far.  Witham were certainly starting to believe!

Wednesday 11th February – Away – The crunch game was upon us.  Witham played Oakham U13A side, who were a tall, feisty, skilful team.  Witham knew what they had to do when we arrived at Oakham and it was a game to be won by Witham keeping their heads and playing like I knew they could.  After a shaky start, Witham found their feet and soon got the flow of the ball going.  Witham led 6-3 at quarter time and went on to be winning 9-3 at half time.  Witham had to keep their set plays steady and only concentrate on their game.  They continued to listen and the girls played their hearts out.  Witham wanted this game and they displayed some outstanding play at times to win the game 16-7.  This was a brilliant display of netball to finish off the first half of term and a good starting point to start off the second half of the term. 

I am very proud of all the 1st VII netball girls and I thank them all for listening, believing and working so hard in both training and matches.  The team is a pleasure to coach and I hope they continue with this unique, exemplary approach to their netball.   

Special thanks to all our parents and supporters who have supported us so far.  We hope you will be behind us for the second half – I feel the best is yet to come!