Paulton’s juniors travelled to Wells Blue School on Sunday 11th March to play in the County’s Fun Day Tournament. The Club was able to enter two teams as membership has grown over the season, entering an U12 and U11 team. Paulton’s U12s were looking to establish themselves as a squad ready for the next stage of their development as they move into the U14b (U13s) League next season, with the U11s welcoming two young new excited players into the squad for their first taste of competitive netball, Maisie and Faye.
The U11s first match was against an established Wells team who took control of the game from the first whistle testing both Paulton’s attack and defence to lose 7 – 0. However as the day progressed and the team found their feet the U11s were able to produce some exciting play with Lori, Maisie, Shannon and Grace linking up well in attack to secure the first of many goals losing out marginally to Bridgwater 1 and 2. As the girls’ confidence in their own ability grew, the team was able to secure their first win against Sydenham which saw some fantastic defending from Faye, Bethany and Maya who gelled together well to prevent Sydenham from scoring. As the team’s final match approached against Keinton the girls had one aim, to focus on moving into space before asking for the ball. All of the players worked on this securing vital goals against the league winners to hold their own in what proved to be an exciting match with excellent circle defending from Bethany and Maya, which also secured them 5th place in the league.
After watching the U11s grow as a team the U12s were keen to face their competitors, unfortunately their first match was against an experienced Bridgwater team with them losing 9 – 1. However, after a good team talk the girls took to their second match knowing that they had to come forward for the ball and to slow their game down to reduce the risk of footwork. With this in mind they worked well together with Emmie and Ellie controlling the centre court to find Rebecca and Cerys in the circle to secure a 5 – 1 win over Wells. The team’s next match against Tor proved more difficult with very tall players either end of the court. However Meg, Vanessa, Ella and Macy worked hard to pressurise the attack and secured valuable rebounds, unfortunately the team could not covert these to goals to lose 5 – 0. Despite losing the girls kept their heads and with another rotation of Emmie moving to GA and Rebecca to WD the team took to the court against Yeovil 2 in what proved to be an exciting match for both teams with the U12s using the court channels well to maintain procession to secure a 2 – 2 draw. One win and a draw enabled the team to enter the play offs for 5th and 6th place with the team losing against a strong Bridgwater to come 6th.