Standards soar in second round

Players from the last game of the day ' Peebles U13 A vs Earlston U13 A ' great to see them being friendly after their competitive game
Players from the last game of the day ' Peebles U13 A vs Earlston U13 A ' great to see them being friendly after their competitive game

Berwickshire HS Under-13s 20

Hawick Under-13s (1) 13

Berwickshire HS Under-14s 16

Hawick Under-13s (2) 4

Peebles Under-13s B 5

Hawick Under-13s (1) 15

Peebles Under-13s A 16

Earlston Under-13s 3

AITKEN TURNBULL BORDER UNDER-14

NETBALL LEAGUE

WITH the December league day postponed due to snow, the second of the four league play days finally swung into action in Peebles last weekend.

Around 70 girls representing Berwickshire, Earlston, Hawick and Peebles high schools took part in an event which is clearly providing the drive for the resurgence of netball across the Borders.

With a marked improvement in skills since October in all teams, and some fine individual performances, four matches were staged.

Berwickshire U13s against Hawick U13s proved to be most competitive, with the shooters from both teams coming into their own, and Berwickshire’s young Claire Gray, still only 11 years old, emerging top shot of the day with a commendable 70 per cent success rate on goal.

Berwickshire continued on its winning streak, delighting coach Terry Maceachen with a further strong performance, this time from her U14 team, securing a victory over the younger Hawick U13 second team by 16-4.

Next up was the inexperienced Peebles U13 B team, which has suffered major difficulties in training since October due to their training ground at Peebles High School being out of action because of a leaking games hall roof. Under the circumstances they played admirably against Hawick U13s firsts, holding them to a two-goal difference in the first quarter, but finally succumbing to Gillian Thomson’s stronger, faster team by 15-5.

The last game created difficulties for coach Linda Nicholson, with both of her teams, Peebles U13A and Earlston drawn against each other and loyalties split.

On the day, it was Peebles who stole the show with their best effort of the season. Eye-catching performances from Peebles’ Shevaun Smith (GA) and Earlston’s Lindsay Maguire (C) showed promise, but it was the overall team play of both sides which shone throughout.

Nicholson told TheSouthern: “I really can’t believe how standards have gone up since the first league day in October and we started to see proper women’s netball being played.

“Just providing a simple league structure can get hundreds of teenage girls playing a competitive sport.”

The results produced a new league leader, with Berwickshire HS U14s now leading the pack with 13 points, but Hawick U13 (1) and Peebles U13A only just behind on 10 points apiece and Peebles having played just two matches compared to the others’ three games.

The third play day will take place at the Gytes in Peebles on Sunday, February 27 from 1pm–4pm. Spectators are welcome.

z The league is billed as Under-14 to enable Berwickshire to enter its Under-14 players, although all other clubs decided to enter only Under-13 teams. Plans for next year are likely to include a development of the league to Under-13 and Under-15 age groups.

BORDER LEAGUE TABLE AFTER SECOND PLAY DAY

P W L D Pnts

Berwickshire U14 3 2 0 1 13

Peebles U13 A 2 2 0 0 10

Hawick U13 (1) 3 1 1 1 10

Earlston U13 3 1 1 1 10

Berwickshire U13 3 1 2 0 8

Hawick U13 (2) 2 0 2 0 2

Peebles U13B 2 0 1 1 1