Haileybury last night entered a team in both the A & B team tournaments of the Year 7 Lea Valley netball tournament, which had been postponed (due to bad weather) from the last week of the Spring term.
The B tournament was organised as a round robin competition, with seven local schools taking part. Despite having two key players with broken bones, and therefore unable to take part, Haileybury made a really positive start, winning their first two games against Goffs B 3-1 and Simon Balle B 3-1. Their third match against Presdales was a much tougher one and, although the girls played really well against far more experienced opposition, they went down 3-5.
With a convincing win over Chauncy B 8-0 and rather closer wins over Broxbourne B and Sheredes A, we were all resigned to the fact that we would have to settle for second place. However, at the presentation we were very excited to hear that Presdales had in fact lost their last match against Goffs, which put Haileybury into first place in the B team competition and thus we were outright winners! This was an amazing achievement against local schools, some of which have intakes eight times larger than our own.
Congratulations should go to Katherine Philips (capt), Eli Devine, Olivia Johnston, Georgina Caney, Charlotte Bruce, Emily Spencer, Gabby Bates and Tatiana Sherwood. Special mention should also go to Lucy Jinks and Megan Andrews who were injured on the day but were eager to come along, watch and support their team.
The A team competition was played as two sections as there were more entries. Haileybury A team started superbly with a convincing win over St Mary’s 11-0. However, they faced Presdales A in their second match and this was sure to be a very different match as they have six Hornets first team club players. Haileybury looked relaxed and in control from the start and never allowed Presdales to find their form. We had secured a 5-0 lead by half time. Presdales started to come back in the second half but the Haileybury team were just too good, winnning convincingly 7-2. The other section matches were relatively easy, with wins over Simon Balle 8-1 and Turnford 5-1.
Haileybury faced Broxbourne in the semi-final and went on to court with considerable confidence and great expectations. However, from the first whistle, things did not go their way. Broxbourne scored the first goal and unfortunately possession was taken from us as we were attacking from our centre (due to a misunderstanding of the umpire’s whistle). Broxbourne were therefore given the opportunity to convert from our centre and after their next centre, they found themselves 3-0 up without reply. The whistle for half time went just as we were about to shoot, which meant we were 3-0 down and feeling very shaken at half time. At this point, we needed to pull ourselves together to save ourselves in the five minutes remaining, but our inexperience showed and nerves started to crack. Broxbourne continued to play excellent netball and we never found our true form in this match, going down to a better team 6-2.
The girls were disappointed at the end as they knew they had the potential to win the whole tournament. However, this will only make us stronger in character and more determined to be winners next year.