Derby day in Borders netball leagues

Galashiels Academy pupils who play with Gala Tempest.
Galashiels Academy pupils who play with Gala Tempest.

Local rivals Gala Tempest and Earlston High School took to the court at Peebles High School on Sunday, as part of the Peebles Netball League fixtures.

Tempest opened the scoring in an action-packed match which saw some superb play on both sides. Gala’s centre, Sarah Cook, and goal defence, Sandra Hendry, worked well to get the ball to goal attack, Karen Gillie, who was on target throughout the match. Earlston’s attackers worked well to create opportunities and attempt to break through Tempest’s defence. The first quarter saw the scoreline close at 8-5 to the Gala team.

In the second quarter, wing defence Anne Mckechnie made some fantastic interceptions and Karen Gillie continued to add to the tally, scoring another nine goals. Earlston struggled to find the net, scoring only four to Tempest’s total of 12. The second quarter finished 20-9 to the Gala team.

The third quarter saw Earlston galvanise and their shooters scored some impressive goals, defending well in a much more evenly-matched quarter. They hit the target six times, with Tempest netting another 10 goals to finish 30-15 ahead. Earlston continued to rally in the final quarter and both teams defended well, but the goal deficit increased as Gala continued to work hard to get the ball to their shooters. The final score was 37-20 to Tempest. Tempest’s centre, Sarah Cook, picked up her fourth fair play nomination with Earlston’s wing defence/centre, Eilidh Forbes, being nominated by Tempest.

The Bullets retained their position at the top of the league and remain unbeaten following a fast-paced match against Coral. They face last year’s Division One winners, the Dragons, in the next fixtures on November 19. The Dragons are also unbeaten and are second to Bullets only on goal difference.

Meanwhile, the previous day, Galashiels Academy pupils took to the court in an explosive netball match against Peebles Dynamite. The young players from the Gala Tempest U15s team took part in their first match in the Developers League Division 3 fixtures at Peebles High School – and it went right down to the wire. Captained by S3 pupil Emma Brus, the team consists mainly of S1, S2 and S3 players who train after school on Mondays, coached by Marion Romeril. In the first quarter, Gala got off to a great start with goal attack Emma Brus netting the first goal. However, Dynamite found their spark and equalised soon afterwards. The quarter turned on its head as the Peebles team broke through the Gala defence to score another three goals, with Tempest adding just one more to their tally. The quarter finished 2-4 to Dynamite. In the second quarter, player/mentor Lindsey Pate (S5) and exchange student Lynn Maier defended well, with centre Lucy Galbraith making good passes to get the ball to the shooters. Possession was equal between the teams but it was Dynamite who found the net, scoring another six goals to Tempest’s four, ending the quarter 6-10 in the Peebles team’s favour.

Tempest stormed into action in the third quarter when passing improved and young shooter Ellie Johnston netted her first goal after being brought on as goal shoot. The Gala team added three more goals to their tally, with Dynamite only finding the net once. This made the scoreline tantalisingly close going into the last quarter – 10-11 to Dynamite. With both teams desperate for the win, play became frantic, as each team desperately tried to find the net.

It was Dynamite who eventually made their mark, scoring a further two goal to Tempest’s one. It was a close match and excellent start to the Tempest U15s’ Developers League campaign.

Pictured above are (front row from left) Siobhan McLaren, Caitlin Wood, Emma Brus (captain), Hannah Bradley, Amy Gray and Ellie Johnston. Back row (from left), Caitlin Darling, Lynn Mayer, Lucy Galbraith, Katie Balmer and Erin Gillie.