Girls Netball Report 2022 - 2023
It has been great to return to netball as normal this season, without any covid restrictions, and with all age groups able to compete in the Northern Ireland League and Cup competitions, as well as the Lisburn League. 11 teams have competed this season and we’ve had some great successes, the season ending on a particular high for the Minor A team winning the Minor Cup just before the Easter break.
Minor A Captain: Faith Curry. Vice Captain: Anna Monaghan
Minor B Captain: Katie McCusker
After a successful league competition beating Down High, St. Malachys and Shimna, the Minor A team finished runners up in their area to Wallace 13-21, who went on to finish overall NI League winners. They also had a great Cup campaign, where they beat Lagan College, BRA in the ¼ Final, Methody in the semi final, meeting Wallace, in the Cup Final. This was a daunting prospect, given Wallace’s achievements this season, and having lost to them 13-21 in the League. Dedicated preparation was necessary leading up to the final, knowing what the opposition were capable of and the girls did not disappoint in their efforts. The final proved to be hugely competitive. We were two goals down at both quarter and half time. The girls fought back well to lead by one goal going into the final quarter 15-14. We finished four goals ahead, 20-16, a nail biting final quarter! Minor Cup Champions in a truly impressive display of netball! Congratulations girls, all your hard work paid off. Special mention at both ends of the court, in attack some solid shooting from Faith and Hannah, as well as great interceptions and turnovers in defence from Niamh, Olivia and Ella.
The B team had a good run of wins against St.Colemans 30-0, Forthill 20-6, losing only to Wallace 6-8 in a very close game, in the league. They also enjoyed a close competitive game against Laurelhill Junior A’s, losing only by 3 goals, but stepping up their performance hugely on the day. They have trained consistently this year and continue to improve with several players having the opportunity to play up with the A’s.
Junior A Captain: Alex Coulter. Vice Captain: Matilda Higginson
Junior B Captain: Freya Terris.
The Juniors had another successful season on the back of last year's success with the A’s reaching the League final, and proved themselves to be a stronger and more competitive squad this year.
The A’s won their area league comfortably beating Down High 32-5 and Assumption 23-15, playing Our Lady’s, Newry 22-12 in the semi final, progressing to the NI League final. Here they met old rivals St.Dominics (a repeat of last year's Minor League final) and in this game the girls put on an incredible display of determination, team spirit and competitiveness. Unfortunately we made more unforced errors than St.Dominics, a team with 5 NI U17 players, to lose only by 5 goals. However disappointing this was, to have come so close to such a skillful team (who went on to win the league and cup) shows the progress this team has made and the potential they have for future competition.
Their cup run saw them reach the Semi-final stage. They beat Sacred Heart Newry 15-5 in the ¼ final, meeting Aquinas in the semi final. They did not play their best netball, and in an unusually inconsistent performance, they were beaten by one goal 18-19, ending their cup run.
The B’s had a successful league campaign beating St. Coleman’s20-0, Laurel Hill 17-7 losing only to Down high by one goal 13-14. They did however win their are league on points and progressed to the ¼ final play off against Aquinas. This proved to be their toughest match and although they lost 14-26, they played some of their best netball, and have improved greatly from the start of the season.
Inter A Captain: Emma Smyth.
Inter B Captain: Eva Brown.
Inter C Captain: Jessica McConville.
The Inter teams had a mixed season for competitive opportunities, however there was consistent attendance at training and many of this group improving greatly over the course of the season.
The As who have grown immensely since last season were unfortunate to come up against some strong and talented sides in their area league. They had convincing wins over Down High 35-6 and Shimna College 28-3, but were faced with a very talented Wallace A, losing 14-31 and a strong Assumption side, losing 18-23, however playing much more consistent netball.
Their cup run started with an impressive win over Strathearn, where they came back from 3-10 down at the end of the first quarter to win 22-18 in an exciting game. Following this they met Wallace A team and lost 13-33, ending their Cup hopes in early January.
I have been impressed by the commitment shown by this squad to training, despite such an early stage in the season, and hope their progress and improvements will be rewarded with a better 23-24 season.
The B’s and C’s have been limited in their competition this season due to other schools withdrawing or not fielding for matches, therefore reducing their match opportunities. They had matches against Wallace, Fort Hill and Lisnagarvey. Both squads show lots of potential, but lack confidence in competition. Something I hope to work on overcoming in the new season. They should also be commended for their attendance at training.
Senior A Captain: Ruby McClelland. Vice Captain: Lauren Johnston
Senior B Captain: Olivia Symington.
The Senior A team had a competitive season. With league wins over Shimna 17-10, Down High 30-4 and Assumption 25-16, being beaten only by Wallace 13-22. Their Cup campaign ended early with a loss to Aquinas, and saw them entering the plate competition. They faced our own B team in the ¼ final, and progressed to a semi final against St. Dominics. This was a hugely competitive game, where the girls competed fiercely in the second half to come from 7 goals down at ¾ time, bringing the goal difference back to within one goal, but ultimately losing 26-23. A great show of what these girls are capable. A tough end to the season, and for the Yr14 girls who their school netball career, but a lot of positives to take away from this game and our personal performances. The season highlight was definitely the training match against Aquinas, who had beaten us well in the Cup first round, but whom we had an incredible second game against, stepping up our performance hugely, to beat them 24-23, in an exciting game and boosting our confidence immensely.
The B team had a less successful season with tough league matches against Banbridge and Wallace, however many of these players supported the A squad, and were able to show their potential for next season being a younger mostly Year 13 squad.
This year we have several netballers achieving representation on Northern Ireland squads.
U13 South East Academy Squad:
Rebekah Garrett, Ruth Biggart, Georgia Thomas, Jorgia Reid all training with the South East squad
U15 South East Squad:
Alex Coulter, Jamie Delport, Kristen McClean, Sienna McCartney Aoife Mackle, Olivia McKinley and Chloe Heanen
U15 Belfast Squad:
Elen Curry and Faith Curry
Northern Ireland U21 training partner Ruby McClelland.
Well done to all involved in netball this season, it has been great to have netball back to normal and unrestricted, and to see what FSL has to offer after two seasons out of action. I look forward to what the new season will hold for Netball in FSL.
Many thanks to Mrs Arnold and Mrs Hughes for their support and guidance as always. A special thanks to the senior pupils who have assisted with training this season, particularly senior Captain Ruby McClelland, who has been a role model and displayed great talent to the younger players.