U 16′s – Poole Tournament Winners October 2016

Tournament Winners at Poole 2016

Poole had always been a successful tournament for Crosskeys so coming back each year made it even more challenging.
This year, as in the past we took a mixed year group of U15/U16. A very early start always makes us a little sluggish in the first game and when I saw we were up against the mighty Tameside I thought perhaps our first game may not go our way.
Tameside as always were energetic and a confident team but straight from the start we came out fighting, putting in practice of Amanda Newton’s fantastic session this week of dynamic play and 100% commitment with dictation of space. A great start with a 6-3 win. Our second game against Birmingham based Ryland were again a tough team with 2 exceptional players. However a slight change of players in centre court didn’t rattle us and we kept moving the ball in every channel to create space for us to move onto. Another successful win of 8-3.
Exeter proved to be one of our easiest games winning by 9-3. With our eagle eyes mum’s our next team Westexe Jags like us had a good start to the day winning all their games. Up against tall players we adjusted our game accordingly, no high balls, no resets just pushing the ball forward in the 8 minutes we had. The main aim was to score as many goals as possible in the first few minutes but up against a strong defence it took a little longer to meet our target, however second half we came away and finished by winning 8-2. TTNC Vulcans were also having a successful day but I gave the girls an objective of 10 goals and no conceded goals, each girl delivered and superseded their expectations and the final score was 14-0. Our last game was against Swan Pearl and we knew we had to win to go through as table winners. Our start was a little slow and fatigue among every player was starting to show, it had been a long day and by half time we were only up by 2 goals. Half time team talk seemed to boost the girls and their determination to beat this team succeeded with a 9-3 win.
Brilliant, we were now going through as winners but meeting local team Poole seemed to be a little daunting, with my heart beating out of my chest, the girls played out of their socks we owned the court and the opposition knew it, each player driving on to the ball, giving options & by the final whistle we had won 6-2. On the other court Ryland and Yendys were battling too for a final place but their game went into extra time. However, Ryland won by 2 goals and were dancing around the court over their win, and then they saw they were playing us, not standing around the girls started to warm up, jogs, fast feet shooters popping the ball in from every angle, Ryland knew they were in for a tough final. Then disaster !!!!! Olivia tweeked her calf muscle whilst shooting and it was announced we would be playing in 2 minutes. Quick on the court was Sarah Henshall who taped up Olivia well and good, with enthusiasm from her team Olivia carried on and like the rest of her squad she played amazingly. A few stops during the game due to the physically resulted in bloody knees and hands. At half time we were up by 6-1. I think at this point Ryland knew they were no match for us but we went into the second half confident and Hannah and Olivia popped in every ball first time.
Our final score was 11-2 a great end to a very very long day.
Hannah Bishop and Olivia Burn came into a team they were not familiar with but this did not show at all. The high percentage shooting rate was close to 90-95% all through the day at one time our players were walking back to the centre as they knew either of them would certainly score.
Centre court was made up of attackers Katie Woodstock Emma-Louise Wacey & Issie Wigmore and in defence Jordan Hinks and Emma Kennett, who worked tirelessly together linking each ball and feeding strong passes into our shooters. In the defensive circle was the strong partnership of Kate Henshall and Cam Brown.

Thanks so Sue Bishop, Vicki Brice & Sarah Henshall who supported our team, and to Sarah Parker & Julie Moore for keeping me calm.

Melanie

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