Trust Helping Hands 51 Thunderbirds 3 17
Comets Tornadoes 38 Shooters Sparks 24
Shooters Flames 56 BDR 23
Stratford Ladies Blues 59 Thunderbirds 4 9
Thunderbirds 1 32 Thunderbirds 2 26
The season opened on a bright morning, which was definitely a positive position given the rain earlier in the week and forecasts that suggested the opening games may be postponed. We welcomed 4 new Thunderbirds teams to the league, and will be playing at Alcester Grammar School across 3 courts all season. The division of 12 will be played across two mixed ability groups of 6, which 3 intergroup matches across the season.
Stratford Ladies Purples met Thunderbirds 5. The final score shows that the groups really are mixed ability with Purples taking a comfortable win. However, the Thunderbirds youngsters kept their heads up for the entire game, setting their own targets. Emilia Sturt at GA hardly missed her shots, helping her team score 9 goals against the defending champions which is a hugely positive start to their season.
Trust Helping Hands also took a reasonably comfortable win against Thunderbirds 3. However, the scoreline perhaps doesn't do the youth team justice. Again, they did not give up and played to the final whistle with determination demonstrating their commitment to their training and working on their set plays and positioning throughout the match.
The final early game saw teams familiar with each other take each other on - Comets Tornadoes and Shooters Sparks. Sparks had their fitness tested playing with no subs, but were happy with gaining a point from the Comets team for being within half of the winning score and reflecting on some great intercepts and good communication through the court.
In their late game, Shooters Flames welcomed the return from injury of their captain Jemma Moore who despite umpiring many games last season, didn't play once. A positive return for her picking up both umpires' and opposition's player award. Her counterpart for BDR, Chloe Hancox, also picked up both awards - a great introduction to the team for the youngster. Flames made a positive start to the game scoring over 20 goals in the first quarter, allowing them to settle into the game and take a convincing victory.
Stratford Ladies Blues were another team playing with no subs available. They welcomed new player Bobbi Sands who adapted to different positions well and supported her team to a comfortable win over the youth side, Thunderbirds 4. Tilley Pettit, captain for Thunderbirds, was a consistent support to her team throughout the match and took a well earned recognition from the umpires despite not playing the final quarter.
The final match saw the top two Thunderbirds sides meet each other. League regulars, Thunderbirds 2, were challenged by the club's first team and a tight game played out. Competitive mother and daughter pairing, Kizzy and Lolita Galvin, matched each other at C, with Lolita's team taking the win by just 6 goals. It will be interesting to see how this fixture plays out in the next round!
Player of the match awards
Stratford Ladies Purples: Umpires' player - Emily Holmes, Players' player - Rebecca England
Thunderbirds 5: Umpires' player - Elin Gallagher, Players' player - Lindsay Ampuller
Trust Helping Hands: Umpires' player - Holly Jackson, Players' player - Rachel Goodman
Thunderbirds 3: Umpires' player - Poppy Paylor, Player's player - Eve Green
Comets Tornadoes: Umpires' player - Helen Mellor, Players' player - Ella Kirby
Shooters Sparks: Umpires' player - Katy Cwoidzinski, Players' player - Laura Tolley
Shooters Flames: Umpires' and players' player - Jemma Moore
BDR: Umpires' and players' player - Chloe Hancox
Thunderbirds 1: Umpires' player - Olivia Bollons, Players' player - Lolita Galvin
Thunderbirds 2: Umpires' player - Carolyn Stacey, Players' player - Yvie Manhood