AKS Year 7 netballers were keen to emulate the achievements of the Year 8 , 9 & 11 teams in bringing home medals as they took part in the Fylde & Wyre U12 tournament at Stanley Park and they are celebrating going one better as both A & B teams came home with medals.
The A team started their campaign against traditionally strong Hodgson and despite dominating possession struggled to score. Great defending from Layla, Lucy T and Lucy W made it difficult for the Hodgson shooters to get the ball in the circle and create scoring opportunities and at the final whistle we had edged ahead to a narrow 4 – 2 win and our first points on the board. Our second game against Fleetwood saw us start to pass more effectively and Lisa worked hard to link our attack and defence. Good movement in the circle and shooting from Captain Sasha saw us get our noses infront again and at the final whistle it was another victory 3 – 0. By the third game against Millfield nerves had settled and we played some excellent, accurate netball. More good defending and great dodging from all the team saw us work the ball into the circle effectively and with Sasha and Connie raising their conversion rate considerably we won 7 – 0. With a place secure in the semi-final we went into the final group game in confident mood and again raised our standard of play against Baines. Layla dominated in defence and with Lisa, Kirtika, Sasha and Connie linking well to work the ball close to the post we created a lot of scoring opportunities that were duly converted by the now on form Sasha & Connie. The final score of 7 – 1 secured our place at the top of the group and a place in the semi-final against Garstang. With a final spot up for grabs we continued to play fast, accurate netball keeping the ball well and defending well to regain possession and at the final whistle we had won 7 – 2 and earnt a place in the final against Lytham High. With both teams playing great netball to reach the final the game was very close in the early stages with teams scoring alternatively to 2 - 2. As the pressure built we started to give possession away with rushed passes and Lytham capitalised by going into a narrow lead at half time. After the break we needed to score the first goal but when Lytham regained possession and went on to score their lead increased and we could never get back on terms with the final score being 2 – 7. The team were disappointed not to win but delighted to pick up runners-up medals having been beaten by a very skilful Lytham team.
The B team started their campaign against a strong Lytham side. Nerves played their part in some scrappy play from both teams but as the game progressed we started to pass more accurately and work the ball down the court well. Lola worked hard in the centre to link our attack and defence and but overall a lack of accuracy saw us give possession away frequently which allowed Lytham go into the lead at the break. The second half saw us pass more accurately and create chances of our own but the final score was 2 – 4. We went into the second game against Cardinal Allen knowing only a win would do and this motivated the team to raise our standard of play. Improved dodging and passing by everyone enabled us to move the ball down the court well and with Anya, Laura and Freya working well in our attacking third we created a number of chances which Laura and Freya converted to take us into the lead at half time. The second half saw us continue to improve and with more accurate passing we continue to extend our lead and at the final whistle we had our first points on the board with a 8 – 1 victory. The final group game against Garstang saw us continue to play with accuracy and we went into the lead with more accurate shooting from Laura & Freya. Good controlled defending from Evangeline won back possession and with players now dodging to receive a pass we were able to move the ball into our attacking circle where Freya & Laura converted to make the final score 7 – 0 and we had a place in the semi-final. In the semi-final we faced Fleetwood High and nerves started to affect the accuracy of our play and rushed passes saw us give possession away. Fleetwood took an early lead but we worked hard in defence and soon had our noses ahead with more good shooting from Freya & Laura. As the tie ticked by the play got very scrappy with both teams guilty of throwing possession away but at the final whistle we had won a place in the final with a 4 – 2 win. The final saw us up against the strong Lytham side that had beaten us in the group stages. Unfortunately this put us on the back foot and we were under pressure from the first whistle. Lytham moved and passed well and were soon ahead. We continued to work hard but all too often, having got the ball, we then gave possession away and at the final whistle Lytham were deserved 12 – 2 winners and we had to settle for runners-up medals.