12th May 2019
After their win yesterday in the Under-19 final, Stroud’s Under-16 girls team took to the court today and grabbed victory over Shropshire.
Yesterday’s win went down to the wire as the Gloucestershire team prevailed by two goals. Today’s win was nail-biting in a different way because Shropshire took an early lead. Shropshire lost a player to injury in the first minute, and after a cagey opening quarter they took control of the match.
The girls in red turned around 12-7 in front as Stroud, playing in green, looked to be suffering the effects of yesterday’s emotional win. Five players were involved in both games.
Coach Matt Durber’s half-time team talk seemed to have worked as the Stroud girls scored five unanswered goals straight away. Shropshire’s coach Ilona Loewnau called a timeout but Stroud scored twice more right after the timeout. Shropshire’s Alice Anderson had several impressive shots from the right wing but struggled to get past Stroud keeper Anna Spencer to add to her three first-half goals.
It wasn’t until the eighth minute of the second half that the girls in red got another goal on the scoreboard. In the last ten minutes the Gloucestershire team led by four goals before Shropshire’s Tabitha Sherratt scored a stunner as part of her overall tally of five, to pull the score back to 15-18 in Stroud’s favour. The match was in the balance, but the ‘Green Army’ netted four more unanswered goals to win 15-22.
Stroud player Florence Jones-Jobst said it was a psychological gear-change at half time that led to the win. “We wanted to show how much we wanted it, and we weren’t showing that before half-time. We talked about team resilience, and how important it was we all came together, and got our heads in the game. Our coach played a massive role in that.”
She said sporting performance is all about mental skills. “It’s all in the mindset. I’m chuffed, and so proud of everyone – it’s such a team game, we all carry each other on our shoulders.”