Sidmouth’s newest sports team impresses at major tournament

Sidmouth Eagles Under-14 netball team

Sidmouth Eagles Under-14 netball team - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Eagles Under-14s netball team made their first foray into competition play when they took part in a tournament at Paignton, writes Louise Hastie.

Five teams from across Devon were playing for a place in the Regional League which is drawn from seven counties across the South West Peninsula.

The tournament was held in Paignton which is fortunate enough to have the best undercover court facilities this side of Plymouth.

The eagles had never played together competitively. Indeed, they travelled for the contest having only been training together for three weeks and so entered the competition as an unknown quantity and almost upset the status quo!

Their first match was against the favourites West Exe who are a well established and highly drilled Exeter team.


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The girls went into the game a little apprehensively finishing the first half down. The second half saw the team gain confidence to end the game 13-8 to West Exe.

Next up were Teignbridge Titans and for this contest the Eagles went into it ith a new found confidence in their abilities and finished the first half on equal pegging 5-5. They were really fired up after a half-time team talk by head coach Louise Neilson and came out all guns blazing!

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Some excellent defensive work by Hannah Darlami, Millie Parry and Jess Truman saw the team finish on top at the final whistle 9-7.

The third game of the afternoon was against Exeter Netball Club another well established team that have a long history of playing top level netball in the region.

Eagles weren’t going to let that get under their skin though, and, after some fantastic team work centre court from Kate Marriott, Immy Hewitt, Molly Parry and Emily Rich, they were 6-5 up at half time which had the Exeter team rattled!

Exeter drew on their experience, and, despite the terrific hard work fro the Eagles, Exeter emerged 15-13 winners.

The final game of the day was against Barnstaple. The girls had to dig deep after their disappointment of the previous game but they came out fighting from the first whistle and didn’t give up until the final bell, thanks to some sharp shooting by Darcy Hastie and Emily Rich and Alice Welland working hard in defence the team won their final game 13-8.

Overall Sidmouth Eagles finished a respectable third against some of the best teams in the county.

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