A SHETLAND team took part in Netball Scotland’s under-17 Challenge Cup at the Dundee International Sports Centre last weekend.
Twelve teams from across Scotland entered the tournament which saw them divided into two sections with the winners from each section playing against each other in the final.
The Shetland team were placed in section two along with the Aberdeen B, Perth A, Fife B, Lanarkshire A and Edinburgh A teams. The Shetland girls were first on court to face Edinburgh A , with captain Amanda Gray winning the toss and claiming the first centre pass. Shetland had a slow start as they settled into their game and were 10-4 down at half time.
The second half saw great defensive work from Emma Leask (GD) and Amanda Gray (GK) in Edinburgh’s shooting circle, taking a number of rebounds and interceptions. Chloe Miller (GS) put in a great performance, netting some long range shots to allow Shetland to win the second half, but unfortunately the lead Edinburgh had built up was too great, with the game ending 14-9.
In the next game against Fife B Shetland’s Julie Brown (GA) took to the court for her first game. Shetland dominated from the start through strong attacking play from Inga Woods (C) and Amber Inkster (WA) feeding great balls into their shooters Julie and Chloe, who finished with accurate shooting. Defensively the team worked hard to deny Fife any goals in the first half, with the score lying at 8-0.
Fife took to the court for the second half with a new found determination, scoring a number of goals in quick succession. Shetland worked hard to maintain their lead with the second half being a much more closely-fought affair. Shetland kept calm to win 13-7. Shetland next faced the strong Lanarkshire A team, whose slick movement and strong accurate passing set a high standard from the start.
Shetland raised their game and defended well as a team, making some crucial interceptions. Emma kept down on her GA, who proved to be a very dominant player in the Lanarkshire attack, while Lindsey Manson (WD) showed great supporting play in the mid-court.
Inga worked tirelessly, linking well between her defence and attack, and the first half ended with Shetland 9-3 down.
The Lanarkshire team turned up the pressure in the second half with their strong attacking play and rarely missing any shots. The final score of 19-4 did not actually reflect the game as Shetland worked hard defensively throughout against a very strong team who were eventual tournament winners. Aberdeen B were Shetland’s next opponents with the first half proving to be a very even affair as the teams matched each other goal for goal.
Lisa Smith (WD) worked well defensively with Amanda and Emma to stop the feeds into the Aberdeen shooting circle. Hannah Burgess worked well at her newly adopted position at WA, getting out quickly for centre passes and linking effectively with Inga.
Shetland were in a good position going into the second half, only one goal down at 5-4.
The second half was not as evenly matched as Aberdeen started to take control and took the game 16-6. Shetland’s final game was against Perth A, who took a commanding lead at the end of the first half 13-5.
Shetland pulled together and worked well as a team in the second half with tight marking to keep down on the Perth team, stopping their run of goals. Great defending allowed them to force the Perth team to make errors which Shetland’s shooters Erin Morrison (GA) and Chloe capitalised on, but Perth’s strong lead from the first half saw them take the game 16-9. A Shetland Junior Netball Development Group spokeswoman said: “The Shetland lasses did extremely well at a tournament of such a high standard and really worked hard defensively raising their game, especially against the stronger teams. Special thanks must go to the adults that came away with the lasses.”