On Saturday 12th October we headed to Queen Margaret’s York for the North Schools Championships. This was going to be a big ask for Shrewsbury, competing at such a high level in their first tournament, but it was a great opportunity to develop our match play and knowledge of the full game. Shrewsbury were in the 2nd XII draw and would play five matches throughout the day. The aim was to improve with every game and learn to work as a team.
Our first match was against Uppingham. Due to traffic, the journey took just over four and a half hours, which meant the girls had to jump off the coach and straight into their first game. Without a warm-up, we were a little slow to get going, but one or two girls quickly found their feet and attacked the goal at pace. Shrewsbury went 1-0 up and continued to push forward. The game finished 3-3. A fantastic result in our first ever lacrosse match and something for the girls to build on throughout the tournament.
Our second game was against Queen Margaret’s 3rds. Unfortunately, after the euphoria of the first game, Shrewsbury just couldn’t get into the game and Queen Margaret’s went ahead with three goals in three minutes. From here, Queen Margaret’s found a steady rhythm that Shrewsbury just couldn’t keep up with and unfortunately we lost 10-1. Shrewsbury had a break between matches and therefore time to gather themselves ready for match 3 against Moreton Hall 3rds.
The game started with a fast pace and it was clear that Shrewsbury were more prepared for this one and working better as a team. The ball was passed more accurately and consistently and Shrewsbury were soon rewarded with a goal. Moreton came back hard and equalised soon after, but Shrewsbury stepped up a gear to make it 3-1 at half time. Both teams played some excellent lacrosse in the second half and with two minutes to go, it was 4-4. Our final chance came from Alice Sykes-Waller running down the right wing, passing in field to Immy Hill who took on three players and scored. 5-4 Shrewsbury. A great game and much deserved result.
Match 4 was against Queen Margaret’s 2nds, and after our game against their 3rds, Shrewsbury were apprehensive, but had a new determination from their win over Moreton. Just as we finished the last game on a high, Shrewsbury started well and went 1-0 up. Abby Attenborough and Izzie Croft kept the pressure on through the midfield and Natalie Seager made some excellent saves to keep Shrewsbury in the game. 2-2 at half time. In the 2nd half , Hattie Warner made some fantastic runs forward and by the final whistle, Shrewsbury had won their second game of the tournament; 4-3 the final result.
Our final game was against Moreton 2nds. This was always going to be a tough match, but Shrewsbury were in good shape from their previous two wins and were playing much better as a team. Moreton went ahead early on and proved to be too strong for Shrewsbury overall. We played some good balls into the D, but good goalkeeping kept us out for the majority of the game. Final score, 1-8 Moreton.
Overall, Shrewsbury had 2 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses. A great result for our first entry in the North Schools Tournament and something to build on over the next few months.