The final of the Aitken Turnbull Border league was played at the Gytes at the weekend and for the second year in row, featured both of Peebles Netball under-15 teams.
However, while the outcome was a certain win for Peebles, which of the Peebles teams would emerge victorious had been a hot topic since the semi-finals.
Last year’s final saw an upset in the closing minutes, with the B team snatching the spoils. Would history repeat itself?
The match drew a large crowd from both camps. Clubmates and training partners were now opponents and there was much intrigue over how far friendships would affect matchplay. Within the first few minutes it was clear that gloves were off and both teams were playing to win.
From the first whistle the pace was fast and dynamic with end-to-end attacking drives and frequent interceptions from both sides, sending the ball back down court. There was little to call between the teams, which was reflected in the scoreline of seven goals apiece at quarter time.
Into the second quarter and the A team began to find more confidence, firing more passes directly into their holding shooter, Eilidh Cannon, who had the game of her career with well-timed moves, secure catching and accurate shooting. B team defenders Jess Wodehouse and Sophie Walpole did well to deflect many attacks into the shooting D, but the relentless barrage from their older clubmates was effective in pushing up the scoreline to 19-11 in the A team’s favour by half-time.
Both teams put on tremendous show in the third quarter, with the B team having nothing to lose and all to gain, and the As enjoying the flow and rhythm of their game which served to extend their lead to 26-14 going into the final quarter.
Heads stayed up amongst the Bs with a final skilful rally, and a well-deserved final quarter win as reward for their gutsy performance.
However, their late surge was not enough to pull back the match, and the A team was delighted to hold onto the trophy for the second time.
The Plate final brought together teams from two different clubs, with both displaying very different styles of play, both effective to an extent, but one finishing off their attacks on goal more consistently than the other.
Berwickshire looked eye-catching with some good elevation in catching and intercepting. However, weakness around their shooting circle led to numerous turnovers and fewer chances on goal.
Where Hawick was outshone on some of the mid-court play, their shooters were more accurate than their opponents, with far more of their attempts on goal translating into an increased scoreline.
In the end, it was accuracy on goal which secured the win, with the Plate returning to Hawick for the second consecutive year.