This was Dragons’ second chance to secure a place within the U14 Regional Division 1 league. The squad played 3 play-off matches in the morning and each of these were 2 halves of 10minutes. Our first game was against West Exe, within the first half the ball was moving end to end and we were drawing at half time. In the second half, West Exe started to pull away going 11-4 up due to scoring off our mistakes however then Dragons really dug deep and started to pressure West Exe turning the ball and our shooters converting off many of the opportunities. Although we lost 11-10 it was an incredible fight back and was very close to being a draw.
Having lost this first game did put extra pressure on the squad as they knew they had to win the next 2 matches to stand a chance of going through. Our next game was against Lawn, we had a change around of positions and the team went ahead however at half time it was only 5-2 to us and not as big a gap as we would have liked. Within the second half the team showed how much they wanted to achieve a division 1 place, they played the ball first time throughout court, defence took many fantastic interceptions which aloud our shooters to convert. The feeds into the circle were brilliant and we managed to win the game 18-5.
Our final game was against Exeter and the team had received a real boost after their previous win. This game started very evenly matched, both teams fighting hard to keep possession however we knew we had more to give and the score was 4-4 at half time. A slight change at half time and the team took to the court for the second half. The first few minutes saw Exeter go ahead 7-4 however then Dragons realised they had to do something different to get this game back. We started to play the first-time ball through court which couldn’t be touched, shooters converted and the team took interceptions and forced Exeter to make errors which then saw us go onto win the game.
We then had to wait on the game between Exeter and West Exe, if West Exe won then we knew we were definitely through in second place however if they lost the result would go on goal difference. West Exe went onto lose to Exeter and so we had a nervous wait to find out which 2 teams would go through on goal difference. The results were announced and we were through in 1st position with the best Goal Difference.
After successfully gaining a deserved position in Division 1 we had our first league game against Saints Rockets. We had fresh legs to come on from the bench which was great. In the first quarter Saints took the lead 10-3 and we knew we had to turn the ball through court to give our shooters opportunity at goal. In the second quarter we switched the team around and the girls settled into playing their game with the score of this quarter being 6-4 to Saints. Further changes were made in the third quarter and again it was a closer fought quarter however we were struggling with our last pass into the circle and this gave Saints opportunities at goal. In the final quarter, further changes were made again the team did not give up even though we were losing and we were aiming to gain a point from this game and that’s exactly what we done winning the final quarter 5-3 so the final score was 24-14.
It was great to of got all the girls on at some stage throughout the day and they all contributed to their place in division 1. Well done to all the girls within this team on the day, we also hope that Evie is feeling better soon as she had to go home after not being well.
Squad on the Day: Violet Little-Wollage, Nadine Baird, Rosie Dillon, Ilana Turner, Stella Harper, Ella Halpin, Scarlett Jinks, Zoe Sparks, Ellie Gabriel and Harriett Taylor
Player of the Day: Nadine Baird