Hampshire County Academy
On Sunday the 2nd of April, athletes within the Hampshire County Performance Pathway attended the 2017 South Netball festival at Chichester University to celebrate the end of the County Netball season. The team included: Emily Hammond (Captain), Alice Wood (Vice Captain), Zoe Henderson, Katie Barrow, Lauren Welsh, Chloe Hayward, Catherine White, Gabrielle Moore, Lauren Webster, Liberty Griffin and Lucy Griffiths. Unfortunately, Amber Blackman was injured but still she showed huge commitment to the squad by attending the whole day and supporting the team.
The day consisted of five matches, each two halves of 15 minutes, which were against other County Academy teams from all over the South of England. Every member of the Hampshire team did each other proud as they played consistently well even through the toughest matches.
The first match was against Berkshire CA which despite some outstanding passages of play resulted in a loss of 13 goals to 26. In spite of this, in the next game the team went on to beat Sussex (Red) 18 goals to 11 demonstrating their resilience and determination to win. This impressive score was a team effort but the defence (particularly Alice Wood and Gabrielle Moore) were relentless in turning over ball, enabling the attack more chances to score.
Although the next two games resulted in a loss, the team showed great diversity as some were playing out of position. Regardless of this, the team continued to contest the ball, win turn overs and shoot under pressure. This mature attitude was rewarded with a win. Hampshire beat Sussex CA (Blue) 18 goals to 13 even with the loss of another player due to injury.
The success of the day could not have happened without the tireless, encouraging and thought provoking coaching from Fran Richards. The tournament was a fitting end to a successful season thanks to both Fran and Sonja Payne’s (who regrettably couldn’t attend) intense weekly coaching sessions.
After a long and tiring day which was greatly enjoyed by all, Hampshire finished a respectable fourth.
Report by Emily Hammond (Captain)