Some were old hands, others had never played the sport before – but more than 30 girls were united on at Armidale’s Lynches Road courts in Armidale Saturday as they became the first senior netballers to play for The Armidale School.
Proudly wearing the new blue and white strip, the 32 girls from Years 6-12 were all keen to get the season underway.
In the first game, TAS 1 played NEGS 3 with enthusiasm, fight and heart. NEGS were up two goals at the first quarter, prompting some switching of positions for the TAS players which paid dividends, bringing the score back to a draw at the end of a second quarter. The experienced NEGS outfit made the most of some TAS mistakes regaining the lead by two goals at the third quarter, and consolidated their position, winning the game 37-21.
The TAS 2 that played Harvey Norman VIP included many girls who were also playing their first game of netball. Courtney Stewart and Molly McLachlan combined well at the goal shooting end, with excellent feeding into the circle from Ellen Coote, Ruby Wright and Kaliya Aldridge. The TAS defence also played some really effective netball, with some passages of great play from Emily Blackbourne, Jessie Digby, Kira Dooner and Madison Aldridge. VIP were too strong, winning 20-11.
Playing NEGS 6, TAS 3 started strongly, took an early lead. With some positional changes in the second quarter, the team took time to adjust with NEGS defending strongly and outscoring us.
After half time TAS 3 played a strong attacking quarter but NEGS forged ahead, winning the game 28-11.
TAS Netball coordinator Ms Kathryn Tamminga said the glorious weather only underpinned the excitement of an historic day, despite the results.
“It was the first time the girls played together, indeed for some the very first time they played netball while for the coaches, it was about learning the strengths of each player,” she said. “The girls showed so much enthusiasm and heart and it was a very promising start to the season. It was also wonderful to see so many parents and friends watch our first games.”