St John's School, Leatherhead 1st VII vs St George's College, Weybridge
On: Saturday, 07 Jan 2017
This was always going to be a massive game. This was our first ever block fixture in netball at St John's against St George's and we always knew we were going to face strong oppositions. Both 1st teams were pipped to the post in the semi-finals of the Surrey National School rounds, by Guildford High School and Alleyn's School. Both teams got off to a tempestuous start with no team scoring a goal for 4 minutes at the start of the first quarter. Both defensive ends were strong and neither end give up even in the dying moments of the game. The St John's side found it hard to cope with the St George's defensive circle and managed to be down by 1 goal at the first quarter break 4-5.
The second quarter was St John's best, and they led at half time 17-14. Ruby Breakspear did a sterling job in the centre position, but legs got tired and Mel Hyde came on to try to add some energy. The 3rd quarter hit St John's hard and only scored 4 goals that quarter, making the score 21-24 to St George's by the third quarter time. It was all to play for in the last quarter and many changes were made with new Lower Sixth Grace Sullivan moving to Goal Shooter from the defensive end; Breakspear back in at Goal defense; Jasmin Cornish to Wing Attack and Katie Littlewood out at Goal Attack. These were big changes, but the team had nothing to lose in being down by 3 goals. The last quarter grew huge grasps from the crowd, and the parents on the sideline were going crazy! With 2 minutes to go St John's were 4 goals down, but somehow the old U16A line-up of Breakspear and Grove in the defensive end turned huge amount of ball over, and Sullivan hit the last goal of the game to make it 28-28. With 10 seconds to go, Ellie Grove managed to block St George's shot on a penalty, and that was to be the end of the game.
Huge congratulations must go to the 1st VII side for really sticking their teeth in to what was a very tough first game of the netball season. There is lots to work on, particularly the transitioning from the defensive to the attack, but the team should be incredibly proud, and being well captained by Katie Littlewood, who shot very well under pressure. Most Valuable St John's player goes to Ellie Grove in her last minute block of the St George's shooter's shot, to allow the well deserved draw.