Sidmouth Toucans make it a family affair as new season gets underway.
Toucans 39, Flamingos 67 The Honiton handicapped summer league, where division’s one and two (of the Winter League) play in a single division with handicapped starting scores, as begun in earnest this past week, writes Alexa Baker.
Toucans went into their opening game boosted by the arrival of a new goal shooter in the form of Danni Walters.
Fourteen year old Walters had been attending the pay-and-play sessions at Sidmouth Sports Hall for the last year and Toucans officials have watched her progress closely.
She plays regularly for the Honiton Under-14s team and as she turned 14 last week she was thrown in at the deep end for her first taste of adult netball, and she certainly did not look out of place!
Toucans also welcomed back Jo White who captained the side last year in the Exmouth league and who has been plagued with injury ever since!
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Up against the Flamingos, we knew we had a tough game on our hands and despite some cracking goals from young Walters, Helen Terry and Louise Neilson, and the 28-2 handicap starting advantage, Toucans could not begin the term with a victory.
Rachel Darlami, centre, worked tirelessly throughout the game feeding the ball to WA, Sarah Sparks and the GA berth shared by Terry and Neilson.
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The experienced Flamingos defence dealt effectively with the Toucans attacking play whilst also keeping Toucans defensive players, Sarah Burston, Jo White, Neilson, Terry and Alexa Baker keep on their toes.
Despite the final score, Toucans emerged with a point plus the ten fair play points, happy in the knowledge that they had got another campaign up and running and got traditionally the season’s hardest game out of the way!
A highlight for all concerned was to see the mother and daughter combination of Louise Neilson and daughter Danni under the net together, they made a formidable pairing and Louise was rightly named Player of the Match.