SportsReach Netball Tournament 2017
What a great day!
34 teams took part in the 2017 tournament held at Garstang Community Academy on Saturday 24th June. The weather forecast leading up to the day hadn’t been too great, but God blessed us again with near perfect weather for netball! Overcast and not too warm with a gentle breeze and not a sign of rain!
Seven teams contested one part of the morning events, the junior section of the tournament, all playing each other in a round robin format. The standard of netball was very high and it was so encouraging to see players in several of the teams who have taken part in our Netball schools in recent years. The teams came from Quernmore – Comets and Stars, Chipping – Kittens, Cubs and Bobcats, Fulwood Sparks and Garstang New Stars! At the end of the matches, Garstang New Stars were in 3rd place, Chipping Bobcats took the runners up trophies and Quernmore Comets were the 2017 Junior tournament winners.
In the novice section, which ran alongside the junior section, 3 teams took part and played each other twice, again in a round robin format. All 3 were new teams with some never having played netball before apart from a couple of practises! The netball improved as the morning went on and Lancaster FM came in 3rd with the two Fulwood teams in 1st and 2nd. Fulwood Flames just pipping Fulwood Fire to the 2017 novice title.
At the break and just before the trophies for the morning were given out, Dave Lawson shared a gospel message, speaking powerfully on John 3:16 ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life.’ and he challenged the large crowd listening to accept God’s unconditional offer of forgiveness, a new start and new life in Jesus.
In the afternoon 24 teams contested the main section of the tournament and were placed in 4 pools of 6 teams, playing 16 minute matches. For the first time we had to use the indoor court as well as the 4 outdoor courts to get through the programme of matches!
The top two in each pool went through to the quarter finals. Chipping TopCats were unbeaten in pool 1 and faced fellow Chipping team – WildCats who were runners up in pool 2. WildCats won the battle of the Cats and went through to the semi finals. Runners up in pool 1, Capernwray Pansies faced another unbeaten team in the group stages – Garstang Diamonds who had won pool 2, Diamonds emerged victorious and also progressed to the semi finals. Westhouse had won pool 3 and took on Quernmore Reds runners up in pool 4, with the Reds knocking Westhouse out. Pool 4 had been dominated though by Lancaster Royals and they continued their good form by beating another Lancaster team – Stylish Roses who had been runners up to Westhouse in pool 3.
So onto the semi finals. Diamonds v Royals proved to be a very close game with Royals refusing to lie down and showing that they are going to be contenders for the crown in future years, standing toe to toe with Diamonds they traded goal for goal until the last couple of minutes when injuries and tiredness kicked in and Diamonds pulled away to win 13-7. In the second semi final WildCats faced Quernmore Reds and looked to have the game sown up only for the Reds to level the score at 5-5 with seconds left. WildCats dug deep and managed to find that little bit more to clinch a place in the final winning 7 – 5. (Royals claimed third spot as they had already beaten the Reds in their pool match!)
Onto the 2017 tournament final – Garstang Diamonds v a team from Chipping again! The 2016 final was v TopCats, who had managed to beat Diamonds earlier this year in the League Cup final, but this time it was Chipping WildCats against Diamonds in the final. Diamonds really hit the ground running this time and were determined not to let WildCats settle into the game. They flew into a lead early on with goal shooter for the day – Terry proving the jewel in the team, scoring every time she got the ball! WildCats clawed a few goals back but Diamonds held on to win and record a sparkling 8th tournament win in a row. Very well done. Katy’s job is safe for another year! 🙂
It was brilliant to see so many people not only playing but coming along to support each other. The tournament day has really become a family event and several teams bring along gazebos for shade with some arriving soon after 8 in the morning to set up in the prime spots! A huge thanks to all who helped in any way with what has become SportsReachs’s largest one day event! Thanks to all the organisers, timekeepers, scorers, umpires, players, spectators, burger van etc etc and especially to Dave Lawson for speaking and to Garstang Community Academy for the use of their facilities.
Roll on the league and the 2018 tournament! 🙂