Paulton Rovers’ Juniors put on a fantastic display of teamwork at Sunday’s tournament in Wells. On a high from last month’s successful tournament both the U12s and U14s were looking forward to the day having trained hard over the last three weeks. The U12s first game was against Yeovil 1, a tough opposition which saw the girls hold their own with a respectable result losing 4-2. The next game was against a young Purnells side. With some fantastic interceptions in defence from Mollie and Hyde, Paulton had a healthy lead at half time. After a quick team talk and some changes in the centre court Paulton’s confidence grew. Some accurate shooting from Grace and Shannon saw an end result of 8-0 to Paulton.
The squad then took this confidence and conveyed it into their next match against Taunton. This was a tougher game but Paulton’s U12s showed their strength, some quick short passes throughout the centre court from Megan, Lori and Skye meant Paulton kept possession and denied Taunton making many interceptions; however the match was very close at half time. Hyde and Maisie came on and Paulton stepped their game up. Some brilliant rebounds and movement out of defence by Maisie and Lori meant that the matched finished 8-4 to Paulton.
Unfortunately the squad found it difficult to carry on this fantastic play as they came across a very tough Wells side with the score at half time 6-0 to Wells. However, Paulton fault back to manage a 1-1 draw in the second half, accumulating in a 7-1 defeat to Wells. As the day closed the girls were not going to let this defeat get to them and bounced back with a brilliant performance against Yeovil 2. The game was 0-0 at half time but Paulton wanted to end their day on a high and came back out fighting. Due to an injury from Shannon, Mollie moved up into attack and Emily controlled the defence linking well with Megan and Maisie. Some brilliant long range shooting from Mollie helped the team to secure a 3-0 victory.
This was arguably the U12s most successful tournament so far of the season with great team work from all the girls. Player of the tournament was Shannon.
Keen to follow on from the U12s success Paulton’s U14s also turned up motivated and determined to once again perform well building on their winning streak from November’s tournament. The team’s first match was against Bridgwater 3, an opposition the girls knew would be tough to beat. The match started slowly for Paulton with silly passing mistakes and footwork errors having undone their successful defensive play. However after a positive team talk and the girls now feeling fully warmed up they took to the court a different side, competing for loose balls and passing into space to maintain the ball. The tactical change of Rebecca going to Gk for height also restricted Bridgwater’s attacking play as she marked the GS out of the game, linking up well with Ella and Bethany to find the attackers who started to jell together to find Pip and Cerys in the shooting circle to fight back 10 – 6. Paulton may have lost but the team had proved to themselves that they could come back from defeat and compete with the higher end of the league table.
The U14s second match was against Sydenham which started well for Paulton with Cery’s moving back to GK for the first time to link up with Ella at GD to create a dominating defence. Strong passing between Ellie, WA, Emmie, C and Bethany, WD insured that the team remained in control of the centre court at all times with everyone defending hard and snatching in loose balls. The new partnership of Rebecca, GA and Pip at GS also worked well with them linking up successfully to find themselves at close range to the goal, helping the team to win 6 – 0. A fantastic team result which saw everyone work 100% and improve over the 20 minutes.
Finally the team’s last match of the day was against a very strong side, Yeovil 3. The match started as anticipated with Yeovil keen to express their dominance; however Paulton surprised themselves by defending consistently well and holding up their play to gain free passes for held ball. The girls also came to realise the value of spreading out when attacking which allowed them to freely move the ball down court with Bethany offering vital support to Emmie and Ellie in their attacking drives. At half time the girls were trailing 1 – 2, however after a positive team talk and a reminder to take their time once in control of the ball the team took to the court confidently, for Pip to score a quick goal making it 2 – 2. With the crowd now cheering them on the girls played some fantastically mature netball with Cerys once again surprising herself in defence making four interceptions in a row, enabling the team to stay in winning contention. A fantastic long shot from Rebecca pushed the team ahead and motivated them even more to believe that they could win, as the tension mounted and Yeovil scored again the girls still kept their composure and played some outstanding netball; unfortunately the final whistle blew just after Bridgwater had scored for them to win 3 – 4.
Once again the squad impressed their coaches and parents with their team performance and continued match development. U14 player of the tournament was awarded to Cerys. All of the coaches would like to thank Cheryl and Helen for umpiring and to all the parents for cheering the girls on in another exciting tournament.