Wales U17 finish third

The U17 Wales squad competed in the Europe Netball Championship Event, taking on United Arab Emirates, Scotland, England, and Republic of Ireland.

Following outstanding performances and exciting netball throughout the competition, successfully winning two out of their four matches, the U17’s placed third overall at the competition.

Our U17s delivering inspirational performances over the Europe Netball Championship competition, representing our Welsh Pathway and their country, we are very proud of their professionalism on and off court, and look forward to watching their journey to future Welsh Feathers! Congratulations to the squad and management team for their dedication, preparation, and determination!

Wales vs UAE
Wales had a fantastic start to their opening match of the competition against UAE, with a strong performance in both attack and defence. The squad controlled two turnovers on UAE’s first centre pass, which set the tone for the rest of the game.

Throughout the match, Wales remained composed and patient in attack, while actively hunting for the ball in defence. They used the height of Lacey Williams to their advantage, finding her well under the post dodging the two defenders marking her. Williams held strong, contributing greatly to the team’s 5-1 lead at the start of the competition.

Wales had a dominant first quarter, leading by nine goals, and they continued to keep the pressure on in defence while adding scoreboard pressure in attack. Their movement in attack was slick, with perfect timing in their drives. The half-time score was 19-33 to Wales, which was a testament to their impressive performance in the first half.

The second half, Wales picked up where they left off, managing to give all 12 players court time in their first match. Hana Wiley received the Player of the Match award for her outstanding performance. She played all three midcourt positions and was dominant in each, contributing greatly to the team’s success.

The final score after a tremendous performance by Wales was UAE 39 v Wales 58. Overall, it was a fantastic start to the competition for Wales, and their dominant performance in the opening match will undoubtedly give them confidence for the rest of the competition.

Wales vs Scotland 
Wales and Scotland faced each other on the second day of their double game day in a thrilling Celtic clash. The game started with Wales putting up a strong defensive front, making it difficult for Scotland to find a clear route to goal. Scotland, however, retaliated with their own defensive pressure and caused a few issues for Wales in the attack end, who fought to find their key player, Lacey Williams.

Towards the end of the first quarter, Wales made a change in the shooting circle, hoping to reduce the deficit. At the end of the first quarter, Scotland was leading with a score of 11-5. Wales made a few changes at the start of the second quarter, which helped them narrow the scoreline thanks to the defensive pressure of Ada Horsman, Vice-Captain Millie White, and Hana Wiley.

In attack, the ball was moving more freely, resulting in a surge of goals in the final minute of the first half. The score was then brought back to within four goals. Wales made further changes in an attempt to counteract Scotland’s momentum, but Scotland dominated the third quarter, leading by 11 goals heading into the last quarter of the game.

Despite Wales’ best efforts, Scotland held their lead and won the game. The final score was 37-46 in favour of Scotland. Both teams put up a good fight, but Scotland’s dominance in the third quarter proved too much for Wales to overcome.

Overall, it was an exciting and intense game, with both teams putting in a commendable effort. Scotland came out on top, but Wales can take heart from their strong defensive performance and the improvements they made in attack throughout the game.

Wales vs England 
England and Wales played in both team’s third match of the competition. The match began with England off to a strong start. Wales secured their first goal from a turnover, which kick-started their game. Wales continued to find Lacey Williams under the post, who had a height advantage on her opposition. Wales’ Captain, Ffion Evans, was producing strong drives into the shooting circle, aiming to lift the team’s morale and performance, and it worked. The defenders were turning over the ball, the midcourters were driving the ball through to the attackers, and the shooters were nailing their shots.

Despite Wales finding more flow in attack, England maintained their lead and were ahead 21-9 going into the second quarter. Wales made changes in the midcourt at the start of the second quarter, which gave them better flow in attack. We went into half time 41-18, after Wales placed three on the board to close the gap created by England. The gain from Hana Wiley and an interception from Ruby Ellis seemed to lift the Welsh side and the crowd in attendance.

To start the third quarter, Wales made a change in the shooting circle, giving them a dynamic moving circle. However, England came out strong and much of the same happened in the second half, and the game ended in a 79-34 win to England. The match was an exciting display of skill, teamwork, and determination from both sides and Wales began to look ahead to their fourth and final match against the Republic of Ireland to battle it out for placings.

Wales vs Republic of Ireland
Following two losses and one win, Wales went into this match to battle for the final time in this competition against Republic of Ireland.

Consistent with previous games, Wales were confident to give the ball to shooter Lacey Williams at the start of this match. Wales’ strong defence continued to put pressure on Republic of Ireland’s attack, and midcourt had sturdy connections feeding both sides of the court, with the immense speed of Ruby Ellis to the circle edge, Wales were driving forward. Wales were determined to get another win in the competition, and obtaining an early five goal lead, Wales took the first quarter 15-12.

Wales continuing to put score-board pressure on ROI, didn’t stop ROI from fighting back, but Wales remain strong. With sharp and speedy connections through the midcourt, Wales began to draw the score out, stretching their lead out by an extra goal, ending the first half of the game 24-20.

Starting the second half of the game, Wales picked up where they left off. Very smart play across the court, mixing things up and being patient with the ball saw Wales add five goals to the score board without a response from ROI. Lowri Windsor’s circle feeds have been exceptional in the Wing Attack position in this match, driving the team to extend their lead to 10 goals during the third quarter.

After another powerful performance from Wales, they finished the game 49-43, successfully securing third place.

Picture taken by Brandon Avellano Photography – @ba_p.hotography

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