Disney success served up by Crofton School in Paris
JUNIOR netball teams from Portsmouth and Fareham starred in Paris at the International Disney Tournament.
Run by Sports Experience and delivered by England Netball over a five-day period during the Easter break, the teams competed against national and international sides.
They were also coached by some of England’s best netballers, Ama Agabeze and Rhea Dixon.
Crofton School in Fareham sent two teams to compete.
Each team played four games, then three different final stages.
Coaches Holly Over and Nicky O’Beirne went on the trip with the girls, overseeing their play.
Izzy Erdogen, a Crofton School student, said: ‘Participating in the Sports Experience event helped me learn new skills and the training was a once in a lifetime opportunity I’ll never forget.’
On day one they began the rounds winning most of their matches.
Day two was all about being coached by the England netball stars and day three was finals day.
Crofton School A team were on top form and reached the final of the Disney Plate competition.
In the final they faced Chelsea. It was close but the girls kept their cool and won 10-5.
Captain Georgia Collins said: ‘Taking part in the tournament has been fun.
‘I really enjoyed the coaching sessions because it taught me valuable skills.
‘Also getting to meet the top English athletes was great and winning was pretty cool too.’
Fareham Fireflys coach Charlotte Ward also took her team of 10 under-13s.
They started with a tough draw in their first game against regional team Royals.
But they had a great match against Welsh team Cwmbran, showing off some of their best netball to win.
This saw them into the final against a team from Bristol.
It was a very even match with each team converting their centres to goals.
In the final minute Bristol turned Fireflys’ centre to take the win.
That meant the Fareham side had to settle for silver in the shield showdown.
Jelly Netball club were the third team from our area in action.
The tournament started excellently with all Jelly teams winning.
Five Jelly under-11 players teamed up with three players from Fareham Fireflys to create a mixed team who linked excellently.
Jelly player Maya Kendell and Fireflys’ Ciara Foley linked up brilliantly together in the shooting circle to take a 12-2 win over Bristol.
The under-13 squad, captained by Issy Brower and Maddy Upton, only lost two games on the first day, meaning they went through to the top-eight competition for the finals.
Georgia Allport fed some superb balls into Freya Chandler who converted into goals beating Brooksbank 12-4 and Somerset side Sexey’s School B team 22-4.
The under-14 squad won all their matches on the first day with ease, scoring 116 goals and conceding just 11 in the five matches they played.
Brogan Blake was in great form, with amazingly accurate shooting throughout and working well with Chloe Wildsmith to dominate the shooting circle.
The second day of the competition saw the under-13s win against Cwmbran and then Sexey’s A in their play-off to finish seventh overall.
The under-11s finished 13th in the Challenger competition.
Amelie Parnell, 10, played fantastically against much older and more experienced under-14 players.
The under 14 team had an easier start to the day, winning 27-2 in their quarter against Sexey’s but lost co-captain and goal keeper Chloe Finlay to injury in the process.
The team had to refocus in the semi final against Saracens.
Superb turn overs from Lucy Nelson and Mia Glover ensured Jelly won 14-7.
The final was a superb display of netball but co-captain and goal defence Georgie Lewis had her teeth knocked out on court.
Not wanting to let her team down she returned, playing to an outstanding level, but the game was lost by a goal.
At the final presentation, Lewis was announced by England stars Rhea Dixon and Natalie Seaton as the overall player of the tournament.