Netball organisers are achieving their goal

Netballers gather for a game in Selsey
Netballers gather for a game in Selsey

LADIES’ netball is beginning to take off in Selsey and it will have an exciting future if it continues to catch on at the present rate.

Since January, the sport has been played two days a week on the Manhood peninsula – on Mondays under the Sports Dream programme and Tuesdays under the England ‘Back 2 Netball’ programme, which is proving popular nationally.

The Monday ladies challenged the Tuesday players to a competitive match of four quarters and it provoked much enthusiasm – skills were practised, set-piece tactics worked out.

The match brought a great turnout and everyone who came played – even a spectator who came to watch took to the court.

One player had studied her position (wing defence) by watching netball on TV and played better than she ever thought she would.

The match was very even with both teams playing with fervour. Initially the ball was moving up and down the court with few goal conversions but by the second quarter the shooters had settled down and there was great feeding into the circle by centre-court players.

Defensive players rose to the occasion with some quality interceptions and good rebound work.

Umpired by two C grade umpires – one a student from Chichester University, one a male umpire – the Tuesday ladies came home winners.

If you feel the urge to play netball, go and join in. They play Mondays (6-7pm) and Tuesdays (7-8pm) at The Academy in Selsey.

Organisers want to build up to have more teams and start a league. All abilities are welcome from 14 years upwards.

Call Mike 07508 716037 for Mondays or Penny 07762 922405 for Tuesdays.

After the mid-season break, the University of Chichester’s netball teams were eager to get back on court.

The second team had an extremely tense game away to Brunel thirds but pulled back from four down in the last quarter to draw.

The thirds took on Brunel but in a very aggressive game lost 35-28.

The fourths were at home to leaders Westminster. The girls showed great determination but lost 32-20.

A week later, the second team faced two games – Surrey firsts and Royal Holloway. Despite losing both games, there were elements of pure perfection shown by the team.

Against Surrey, Gemma Twine was named player of the match for great movement as goal attack and fantastic shooting. The following day Hannah Stratton was commended for excellent defence and always being committed.

Chichester’s thirds were away to St Mary’s seconds. After the first quarter St Mary’s were up by six but the Chichester thirds bought it back in the second with St Mary’s only able to get four goals in the second quarter.

Chichester continued to show amazing play in attack and defence to come through with a 40-29 win. Player of the match was Becca Jelley – despite being a defender she played goal attack and did so it seamlessly.

The fourth team travel to Portsmouth to face their fifths. The game was very tight but Chichester dominated the final quarter to win 38-30. Lauren Pretty and Blaire Farrent were voted players of the match having worked perfectly together as goal keeper and goal defence.

The Chi fifth team were away to Imperial College – outdoors. Despite the freezing weather and many girls playing out of position, they recorded an amazing 40-17 win.

New pairings were established at both ends of the court with Natalie Chamberlain and Mel Keenan working well in defence and Eilish Whittaker and Emma Carter racking up the goals.

Player of the match honours were shared between Amy Haken and Charlotte Simmons.