Match Report
Culford School 1st VII vs  The Perse School
On: Sunday, 13 Jan 2019
Venue: Away

The 1st VII were up bright and early this morning to head to The Perse for a pre-season tournament. We were set to play a strong set of opposition today and we were missing some of our normal squad.

Our first game was against St George's who last year won the tournament. With some new combinations it took Culford a while to settle and St George's took this opportunity to open up the lead. In the second half we settled down and were able to work the ball into our shooting circle with success. The game finished 3-8 to St George's.

The Perse were up next, this was going to be a tight game based on last season and them qualifying for the regional finals. We put the pressure on from the first whistle which allowed the turn over in defence, and up until half time the game remained quite close with only 2 goals in it. A tactical change for The Perse saw them pull away and take the win 9-5.

Against Framlingham we had a similar start to the game, keeping the pressure on and moving the ball well through the court. Unfortunately when they had to make changes due to an injury this opened up their attacking third which Culford defence could not break down. They pulled away further in the second half however we will face them again soon on Saturday 9th February. The final score was 14-3 to Fram.

The next game was one of my highlights of the day against RHS. Having faced this team at the county finals in November and suffered a heavy lose the girls went out with a game plan and kept the game to 0-2 in RHS favour for a large proportion of the 1st half. As the game progressed Culford kept a close goal difference however RHS took the win 8-3, a vast improvement from when we played them last.

After a short break, our next game was against Oakham who were the eventual winners of the tournament. They were a well drilled team that had an excellent sense of timing and where each other would be, Culford unfortunately were on the back foot from the first whistle and could not anticipate the movement of the Oakham players. In the second half of the game the girls settled a little and worked the ball patiently into the shooting circle to allow Yaa Zuta and Lucy Flynn opportunities. The game finished 4-21 to Oakham, a lovely team to watch play.

Next up saw Culford's first win of the day against Kimbolton. This was the point when the team seemed to click and the timing of moves through the court was spot on. With a change in positioning seeing Holly Reynolds moving to WD and Melia Englefield move into attack Culford moved the ball effortlessly through court. Alicia Hassan and Yaa Zuta found excellent space in the shooting circle and were accurate with their shots. A fantastic game to see how they are capable of playing. Final score 11-2 to Culford.

Following another short break we faced Oundle. With some strict umpiring Culford became unsettled and Oundle were able to move the ball through the court to their shooters. Defence worked hard in this game and improved on their discipline in the second half which allowed them to make those all important interceptions. Unfortunately Oundle had gained a good lead in the first half and the game finished 19-2 in Oundle's favour.

As the day was drawing to a close we had two games left to play. First up was Ipswich School and this was an extremely tight game. It was goal for goal at the start of the match until defence turned the ball and worked the ball patiently and sensibly up to our attack. Ipswich came our strong in the second half and closed the gap a little however Culford were able to maintain the lead, keeping the pressure on throughout to win the game 9-7.

Last game of the day was against Uppingham. Some forced errors on both sides saw the scoreline remain at 0 for quite a while in the first half of the game. As Uppingham settled into the game and Culford's tired limbs started to kick in we unfortunately dropped off our players at times allowing them to move the ball fluently through to their shooters. Culford's shooting circle were unsettled with Uppingham's defensive tactics and therefore struggled to convert their shots. The game finished 19-5 to Uppingham.

Well played by all and a special thanks to Holly Reynolds, Alicia Hassan and Isobel Bettley for stepping up to play first team today.