NETBALL’s Manx Aces took players from its satellite and county academies away to play against Cheshire recently.
The weekend began with the satellite academy taking on a large Cheshire squad, playing two games back to back which was a test of the Manx girls’ fitness.
The 11-strong Manx contingent performed admirably and played some excellent netball throughout the two matches and were unfortunate not to gain a win in their second game.
It must be also noted that the team included a number of under-12s and u13s who will have benefitted greatly from the experience.
Cheshire edged ahead thanks to some well-drilled moves and accurate shooting. All the Manx players worked extremely hard but there were standout performances from Sara Watterson at WD and Karie Bridson at GD. These players were key in keeping the Manx Aces in touch and battled hard against the strong Cheshire attack.
Next it was then the turn of Aces’ county academy team. Again, they faced a large Cheshire squad, but with only eight Manx players to call on.
Cheshire raced ahead in the first quarter of the game but with some tactical changes saw the Manx come back strong in the following quarters.
Unfortunately, because of their slow start the Aces were unable to overhaul the deficit as the hosts ran out winners.
The Aces started much better in their second game and, thanks to some outstanding performances from Paige Skillicorn and Ellie Shopland, they managed to turn over lots of Cheshire centres, which were then brought down the court by fast-moving centre court players Emily Munroe and Ellie Gilson. These were then converted into goals by our three shooters Aalish Bridson, Rebecca Hempsall and Katie Reubens.
After playing for more than three hours of netball, the Manxies then had the opportunity to be ball girls in the Manchester Thunder’s FIAT Netball Superleague encounter with Team Bath. It was great end to a good day of sport.
On the second day of the trip the Aces’ satellite academy were unable to gain a win but again played some tremendous netball on very tired legs.
The Aces’ county academy was also unlucky not to gain a win losing by one point in the final quarter. Fatigue had definitely affected our county players in this game but that’s nothing that can’t be worked on.
On behalf of Manx Aces, I would like to thank the Manx Netball Association for organising the trip.