Ten girls represented Shetland at an under-17 netball development tournament at the Beach Leisure Centre in Aberdeen at the weekend.
The tournament attracted eight teams from all over Scotland and as expected the standard of play was high. The teams was split into two groups with each being played as a round robin. Shetland were drawn into group one with Aberdeen A, Perth, Glasgow and Angus.
In the first match Shetland played a strong Aberdeen A who were up for the game from the first whistle. Shetland came out well and held the Aberdeen team goal for goal in the first half with some good shooting from Andrea Strachan at goal attack.
The Aberdeen side picked up their game in the second half and began to control play with Shetland struggling to keep possession on their centre passes. Aberdeen A eventually won 16-10.
After a long break Shetland faced Perth in their second match which would see some great defensive work from all the girls. Perth played a fast and accurate passing game but Shetland started brightly and worked hard as a team, putting pressure on the Perth passes.
The final score was 12-6 in Perth’s favour but that does not reflect the high standard of netball played by Shetland. The players made some excellent interceptions, turning the ball over and placed constant pressure on the Perth attack throughout.
In their next match Shetland were up against Glasgow and the girls’ confidence had grown with each match and they were starting to gel together as a team. Karen Bannister, on at centre, controlled the play and kept the team steady.
The game was end-to-end with both teams shooting really well. The Shetland defence of Emma Leask and Louise Birnie worked hard and kept finding the intercepts in the circle. In the end neither team could find the break they needed with the final score 8-8.
In the final match against Angus, after steadily improving during the day, the girls were really determined to come home with a win. They went on out onto the court really focused and this created some excellent accurate passing though the court.
The attacking players were feeding the circle well and the Shetland shooters were on form. Everything came together and they achieved the win they deserved, with the final score 15-7 to Shetland.