A draw and a win in first elite games

Borders 55

South Lanarkshire 55

Borders 50

Glasgow 38

UNDER-17 DISTRICT MATCHES

HAVING qualified for Netball Scotland’s Performance Tier, comprising Scotland’s top six Under-17 District squads, Borders travelled to Meadowbank Stadium in Edinburgh at the weekend for the first meeting of these talented teams.

Each district played two full-length matches.

Ankle injuries picked up the previous weekend by Borders international shooter Jo Pettitt and experienced defender Naomi Symonds were bad news for the squad, but spirits improved when Pettitt passed a last-minute fitness test.

The first match against South Lanarkshire promised to be tough and so it proved. A feisty opening by Borders, aided by superb shooting from Pettitt and Jenny Hudson, gave them a lead of 15-11 by quarter-time. However, South Lanarkshire, sporting three international players, started to get into their stride with tight marking forcing many passing errors and resulting in the advantage being cut to 26-24 by half-time.

The pressure on the Borderers’ defence continued with Hannah MacDonald playing magnificently out of position in goal defence to cover for Symonds, and West Linton 14-year-old Mhairi Jackson once again showing great composure with a strong and controlled performance. But, with 15 minutes to play, their lead was down to one goal at 43-42.

The final quarter was nail-biting for both benches with the Borderers repeatedly nudging ahead, only for South Lanarkshire to break through their defence and draw level.

One hour later, Borders took to the court again against Glasgow District and aggressive play from Borders centre Lauren Tait eventually helped them to find their flow and they led 12-9 lead at quarter-time. That increased to a comfortable 27-14 scoreline at midway. With shooting duo Pettitt and Hudson tiring, subs were brought on and a safe and steady second half resulted in a very commendable win.

The teams meet again in February, when Borders will play Perth and Edinburgh.

Borders U17: Jo Pettitt (Capt) (GA), Jenny Hudson (GS), Flora Gillies/Neve McLean (WA), Lauren Tait (C), Mhairi Jackson (WD), Hannah MacDonald (GD), Hannah Crick (GK), Susanne Krabbendam (sub), Ellen Jardine (sub).