ECJS Netball and Hockey Tour to Ipswich

For the second year running, Beechwood Netball girls joined the Hockey boys in the annual Ipswich Prep competition. It was a great weekend for the Netball girls who played against some high standard Netball teams.

We undertook our first set of games on Friday 6th February. These were against Ipswich U11 B, Finborough U11 A, followed with a mixture of Beechwood and Ipswich against Finborough U11 A and B.

We made a strong start against Ipswich U11 B, and ended with a close 4-3 victory, scoring our final goal towards the end of the last quarter. Poppy and Abigail worked well together as GS and GA. We maintained a strong centre court to ensure we held possession.

Our second game against Finborough U11 A, showed excellent strength again on our side, with improvements and new tactics put in place from the previous match. The girls were now warmed up and had become familiar with their positions and what they needed to do. We ended up with a 2-0 victory through excellent defence by both GK Sophie and GD Amelia who intercepted plenty of passes and managed to jump for rebounds underneath the netball post.

The final match of the afternoon involved mixing Beechwood with Ipswich to form two teams against Finborough A and B. This was an excellent opportunity to allow the girls to play alongside different girls and adapt to different playing styles.

Saturday’s games were a bit of a shock to the system when we played a strong Greshams U11 A team. It was a tough game, but everyone persevered. Unfortunately we couldn’t match their speed across the court and accuracy of passing, which resulted in a 7-2 loss.

Our second game against Barnadiston U11 A, proved how much we had warmed-up and as a result, became hungrier for the ball. Our defence had stepped up a gear and GK Sophie and GD Amelia managed to jump more for rebounds and improved on back line passes back to our end of the court. A very evenly matched game which got all the spectators excited watching it! The final result was 5-5.

The final game against Ipswich U11 A was another shock to the system. The Ipswich team were a lot taller and trained for two hours each week.  Unfortunately, the girls lost 8-3 but did so well to score against such a dominant Ipswich side. The girls never gave up and continued to take on advice given after each quarter. They should be really proud of themselves!

On the final morning of our tour, Beechwood played a mixed Ipswich A and B team. It showed just how far the girls had improved over the past few days. Although they lost this game 15-5, they never once stopped putting in 100% effort. They had faced some challenging games which really tested their focus and motivation. Each player learnt great new skills through this experience.  Poppy, Abigail and Katrina worked well together and scored some excellent goals. Freya, Sophie, Courtney and Emily worked so hard in the centre court to keep the ball in possession. Sophie and Amelia became hungrier for the ball and retrieved many rebounds as a result.

Congratulations to all ten girls who came on tour. The whole squad can be very proud of what they have achieved. A massive thank you to the Ipswich children, parents and teachers who made it such a worthwhile and enjoyable experience for Beechwood.

Miss Anneka Le Tissier

The following netball report has been written by team captain, Poppy Preston:

After an early start to leave Guernsey on the ‘Red-Eye’ at 7am, our first match was against a strong Ipswich ‘B’ Team. With a victory of 4-3, we were full of joy. We knew we had to stay focused, though, for the next game, against Finborough ‘A’ Team, who were the feistiest team in the tournament. We were pleased with our 2-0 win but we knew that we could improve our game further by avoiding ‘loopy’ passes and instead finding more space for straight, powerful chest passes.

At this stage, in the very cold conditions of Ipswich, the teachers took away our gloves, earmuffs and scarves – brrrr, it was chilly!

In the next game, we were mixed up with the Ipswich team against Finborough’s mixed ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams. We all had a good feeling about the game as we encouraged each other and worked well as a team. With giving our best efforts, we came out of the game with a win. It was a great experience for us all by the end of the first day.

On Saturday, we woke up feeling tired and grumpy. Friday had been a very long day! We weren’t due to play until after lunch, however, so we had time to lift our energy levels.

The first match was tough! Greshams won 7-3. We were quite ‘down in the dumps’ about this score-line but the encouragement we were given by our Ipswich hosts on the side-lines helped. We still did our best and enjoyed ourselves while being challenged.

The next match against Barnadiston, were not as feisty but had a real attitude. It was a game of two halves: 0-0, 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, and then the timer went to indicate the end of the match. This showed that we were just as good as them and we were pleased with the result. We praised each other for the great efforts we were putting into our individual positions.

The last match of the day was against Ipswich ‘A’ Team. By this time we were tired and did not do as well. We lost 8-3 but we had managed to score and help each other to cheer up. We still had the Sunday to make up for it.

I had no idea how we were going to perform to the best of our ability when we were so nervous for our final match of the Tour. We were playing for the Beechwich Trophy. Ipswich ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams mixed up and played against us. In the first quarter we were doing fine, with a score of 2-0 to us. Then, one of their really strong shooters stepped in and this was not a good sign for our side. The next quarter saw Ipswich catching up and over-taking our score to make it 5-4 to them. From that point, we were unable to clench back the lead and the final score was 15-5 to Ipswich. We were disappointed with the result but applauded and congratulated our hosts when they were presented with the Beechwich Netball Trophy. Tea, sandwiches and chocolate brownies cheered us up until we had to leave for the airport. It was a great weekend and experience for us all but sad to say goodbye to our lovely hosts.