Jellys prove big hit on European tour

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Jelly Netball Club made their mark at the England Netball-endorsed International Festival in Paris during Easter.

A total of 31 girls and five adults made the trip – with the club entering an under-16 side and three under-14 teams.

The tournament could hardly have started better with the Jelly teams enjoying some huge victories.

The only losses on the entire day were for the under-16s against Australian outfit Mount St Benedict College and the under-14 C team against AP Saints from London.

All four Jelly teams went through to the top section of their relevant tournament.

The under-16s played for the top eight places out of 34 teams, while the under-14s teams all made the cut for places one to 12 out of 60.

The second day of the tour saw the Jelly girls being trained and taking part in competitions against England players, as well as all other girls attending the tournament.

Caitlin Johnson and Alex Pugh won both of the under-14 shooting competitions on offer, while 13-year-old Natasha Palfrey beat the target set by England player Lauren Massey in the standing broad jump.

The finals of the tournament were played in hot and humid conditions.

Illness weakened some of the Jelly squads but the girls pulled together and battled on.

The under-16s started with an 18-17 victory over a strong Brookbank School team – with wing-defence Tilly-Mae Elliott and fellow defender Lily Wardale donning the shooter bibs.

The under-14 A and B teams were drawn against each other, along with local rivals Swan Netball Club.

Swan came out on top in both Jelly fixtures.

The C squad, which consisted of five under-12 players, struggled against bigger, stronger and more experienced opposition.

They lost the first two matches of the day but beat the Jelly B squad to go forward for the play-off for ninth place.

The B squad finished in 12th place, while the C team were 10th.

And after beating Australian rivals Mount St Benedicts but then losing to Berkshire-based Woodley, the Portsmouth club’s A squad had to settle for six position.

Jelly coach Julie Osborne said: ‘It was a brilliant few days which would not have been possible without our excellent supervising adults.

‘Huge thanks to Angie Osborne, Steph Strode, Hannah Smith and Helen Newbold.’