25 Jan 2019
Aldenham vs Kingshot – Tuesday 22nd January

Playing their first match as an U12 side, the Martineau's girls impressed their coach with some fantastic displays of fundamental netball skills throughout their fight against Kingshott School. The snowy weather earlier in the week meant that Kingshott were no longer able to provide two teams so, in the interest of saving an opportunity for match play, we played with one large squad of 15 and an extended playing time.

This change to the original plans played to Aldenham’s advantage as we were able to rotate players, try different playing combinations on court and really push some of the girls against a strong opposition. Playing a combination of eight minutes 6th's, Aldenham gained the advantage straight away with some great shooting from Sophia Kay and Milly-May Blue leading us to a two-goal lead.

With many changes going into the next eight minutes on court, Kingshott were able to equalise the score. Some particularly impressive play from Roxy Baxter, Tara Bottin, Lauren Cockerton, Imogen Rymer, Natasha Striftombolas, Amelia Hunt and Maddy Harris meant that the opposition were unable to keep up with the speed of play and soon Aldenham had managed to secure a six-goal lead going into the final 16 minutes of play. The score line was now 11-5.

Despite more positional changes with many players trying new positions for the first time, the core skills the girls have adopted from the start of the season meant that Kingshott were left trailing behind and unable to keep up with the score line. Simi Agbede, Hannah Cushion, Aysha Foum, Dilara Tekin, Ella Tollman and Hadassah Ajibola all adorned defensive bibs with pride throughout the game and were all responsible for some impressive interceptions which were successfully transitioned into our attacking end, allowing us to finish the game with winning score of 14-8.

With such fantastic demonstrations of skill and agility on court, it really has been hard to choose a player of the match as each player rose to the challenge of facing, in some cases, an opposition who were twice their height not to mention an age group ahead of them. However, a special mention must go to Simmi Agbede, Hannah Cushion and Roxy Baxter for shining on court. Simmi’s fantastic vision down court allowed her to intercept the ball with ease; Hannah’s confidence and determination allowed her to excel in the four different positions she was asked to play; and Roxy’s speed and front drives allowed her to find space easily on court which, is a skill which is indispensable to any netball player.

Finally, a massive well done to everyone. I see a promising season, and netball future, ahead.