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West Midlands U16 Girls Team Compete at Their First Ever Inter Regionals

Author: Matt Elliott, 15/07/19

West Midlands under 16 girls 2019

The West Midlands U16 Girls team competed this weekend at Walsall Gala Baths. Having never competed before at Inter Regionals in this age group, 2004 and under, it was a brilliant achievement that the

The West Midlands U16 Girls team competed this weekend at Walsall Gala Baths. Having never competed before at Inter Regionals in this age group, 2004 and under, it was a brilliant achievement that the region could actually field a team.

As it was our home pool we had first match and last match both days, a tall order for a very novice team. First match on Saturday was North West Lightening. This team came top of Division 2 back in 2017 so no doubt a challenge from the start. As expected they started strong, taking an early lead as the West Mids girls found their feet. Slowly West Midlands chipped away at their advantage forcing a very good draw. Final Score 7-7.

Next was Scotland Salteries. Seeing as the team had played a friendly with the Scottish the night before they knew they were capable of beating them but anything can happen on the day. The girls held a steady lead which enable all the West Midland players to get a chance in the water. Final score Scotland Salteries 5 West Midlands 8.

Last game of Saturday was South East Solent. After more than 9 hours at the pool the girls and the spectators were a little drained. The West Mids girls seemed to come alive with some brilliant team play despite being tired. The whole team worked together confidently bringing about a great victory West Midlands 10 South East Solent 4.

Sunday brought another early start for the girls and the opportunity to face the obvious power house team of the division. Ireland seemed to have a team of shooters and a goalkeeper who had been swimming up and scoring. They have obviously been learning and working new rules for some time. Quite quickly West Midlands were defeated by the strong Irish team but a change of tactics, leaving two players back in defence soon brought the onslaught to an end. There were plenty of attempts from West Midlands to bring the score line back to a reasonable figure but sadly they were either just over the net or hit the crossbar or post. Final score Ireland 15 West Midlands 3

The crunch match for the team was against East Angels. On paper West Midlands could possibly have another win, they had forced a draw with North West Lightning whereas East Angels lost. After a number of unfortunate reffing decisions that really didn’t go West Midlands way the West Mids team’s confidence and ability dwindled. Nearing the end of a second very physical match the girls just couldn’t recover. Final score West Midlands 2 East Angels 6.

The final game was against close rivals East Midlands. Ending a very long and tough day a change of tactic just didn’t pay off. After the first half West Mids were 5-0 down. Although during the second half West Mids were beginning to find their second wind it just wasn’t enough. Final score West Midlands 2 East Midlands 8.

Overall the team finished in 5th place. Most Valuable Player was awarded to the captain Charlotte Martin. Special mentions also go to Mia Evans who adopted the pit forward position with great skill, Heather Collison who took pit defence to a new level and Anu Pattar who showed great determination in goal. Many thanks to Jenny Braddock, Head Coach, David Cash, Assistant Coach and Catherine Martin Team Manager. Everyone played exceptionally well and showed great team spirit right to the end.

Full West Midlands Team -
Anouksha Pattar, Charlotte Martin, Hannah Braddock, Mia Evans, Abbie Llewelyn, Izzy Cornfield, Emily Clark, Heather Collison, Lily Sharaf, Beth Roberts, Izzy Outram, Charlotte Turpin


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