A Stellar Few Weeks For Epsom's Netballers | Epsom College
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A Stellar Few Weeks For Epsom’s Netballers

There has been much success for Epsom’s Netball players in recent weeks, highlights include the U14s Surrey Schools qualification, the U15s’ victory in the second round of the National Cup, and the U13s’ clean sweep against Ibstock Place.

U15s progress to Third Round of the National Cup

WON 21-14

The girls had something to prove after a frustrating Surrey Schools Tournament last week and a long minibus journey to South Hampstead High School in North West London was not overly conducive to helping their cause. However, the squad, captained by Sophie Norman (Wh), focussed well in their short warm-up and seemed determined from the outset to right their wrongs.

The match was strongly contested from the start, South Hampstead’s defence matching Epsom’s attack, but the whole court defensive play was equally strong. Both teams were forced into errors, whilst nerves were evident and it took a while for Epsom to work out how to time their attacking drives effectively. This is reflected in the low 5-4 score at the end of the first quarter.

The defensive combination of Furaha Wassuna (W), Mojo Ojo (Cr) and Polly Campbell (Rv) forced many turnovers, and Sophie Norman worked tirelessly in centre court against a dominant opponent, restricting her play.

The sports hall was fantastic but extremely hot and the luxury of a squad of 10 enabled changes going into the second quarter. Delphine Ayitey-Hammond (Rv) came on at GK and immediately made an impact working with Mojo and Lily Taylor-Fitzgibbon (Rv), who excelled with her second stage of defence and backed up solidly in attack. South Hampstead found it difficult feeding their circle attack, Delphine making numerous interceptions with solid decision making. Vice-Captain Anouska Powell (W) began to dominate her WD and gave confidence to the attacking unit, whilst Kitty Ellis (Wh), new on as Centre, always provided an option and fed GS Amelia Thomson (R) beautifully. Amelia and Ella Parson (Rv) had learned how to play more effectively against their tight, restrictive defence, Ella working so hard to link well with Anouska and Kitty, and they rewarded the team with 8 goals to 3, a strong testament to the defence and shooters.

A 13-7 lead at half-time afforded more changes, and the tightly contested match-ups continued. Kitty, Polly, Sophie and Ella placed constant pressure on their opponents, forcing errors that helped Furaha and Delphine make some match-changing turnovers, but similar pressure was placed on the Epsom attack.

A 4-4 draw took Epsom into the final quarter 17-11 up. Anouska and Mojo returned to the court but South Hampstead continued to exert their presence. Epsom made three turnovers in the first three minutes, but were unable to take them to goal, however it took this long for South Hampstead to score the first goal of the last quarter.

Epsom were put under more pressure as the score hit 17-13. However, their work ethic was phenomenal and they regained their structure, the whole team supporting in attack and defence. Amelia and Ella rewarded the team with accurate shooting and a hard fought 21-14 win. The team deserves to be complimented on their tenacity and ability to cope with sustained pressure, alongside their strong squad ethic.

U13s clean sweep against Ibstock Place

See all match reports on SOCS here.