The Netball Alberta U23 and Open squads attended the 44th Canadian Netball Championship in BC on May 19th – 21st, 2018.
Day 1 - After an invigorating opening ceremony performed by the Burnaby North Secondary marching band, overseen by a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Open squad was ready to hit the court running out against BC.
With instructions from visiting coach Beverley Powell fresh in their minds and new dresses to wear, the Open squad came up against tough opposition in the OPEN BC team, losing the first game.
Alberta’s U23 squad looked confidant and determined in the first leg of a three game play off with BC U23. They dominated the game play, holding strong defensively and creating turnovers a plenty, capitalizing where ever possible, winning the first round competently, putting them in a good position for the 2nd round later in the day.
The first days schedule was brutal for AB’s players and team bench with AB’s Open squad back on court immediately after the U23s wrapped up, facing a fresh Quebec squad. The team held firm and gave it their all until fatigue allowed Quebec to take a significant lead in the last quarter. Quebec won the game 60-39.
Our U23s were back on court next for round 2 against the BC U23 team and the girls fought hard and tried to maintain the momentum from the first game. The first quarter was evenly matched for the most part but unfortunately BC had a strong run that Alberta was not able to stop, BC took round 2 making day 2 an interesting prospect at one game all.
Day 2 - Alberta and Quebec Open squads were in a play-off game to play BC in the Gold medal game, and what a game it was! Both teams started out strong and AB led by one goal at the end of the first quarter. At the half AB was up by 4 goals and the gold medal game was in their sights.
Everyone on court was giving it their all, turning over ball and forcing errors. By the end of the third quarter, AB was still leading by 4 goals but in the last quarter, Quebec came out fighting for the Gold medal game. Game play was tight and Quebec clawed back to tie AB at 32-32!
Two 7 minute, nail biting quarters of extra followed with AB taking the lead at the end of the first round with a score of 40-36. Quebec came out strong for the second but in the end, AB took the game in the dying seconds with a one goal win! Final score 43-42.
After an extended break, our U23 team was up against BC for the final round with everything to play for. The girls hit the court strong in the first quarter finishing one goal down to BC. Back on court for the 2nd quarter, BC had a confidant run which AB was unable to pull back, finishing the 2nd quarter down 11-24.
Not disheartened, the U23s continued to create opportunities and kept fighting to the final whistle; BC taking the game 27-48. Well done to the U23s who all played well, created opportunities and most importantly fought hard and refused to give up.
AB Opens had a tough game against BC in the final game; BC with fresh legs and AB with extra tired legs after playing Quebec in the extra time game. BC dominated the game taking the win 67-18 and the Gold medal. Throughout the game AB was tenacious in their efforts and were proud recipients of the hard fought silver medal.
I would like to thank everyone who contributed to a fantastic weekend of Netball, Alberta was proudly represented by an awesome group of ladies!