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It’s been a fiercely competitive Michaelmas term for the college netball league, as all nine teams have been shooting for the stars in pursuit of victory. After suffering the losses of dearly departed third years, the captains have had the challenge of recruiting and distributing keen freshers amongst the ranks in October. Once teams were assembled, the games began, with both A and B leagues playing a match per week. As the term went on, they’ve also had to battle the formidable winter weather. Despite Lancaster’s finest hailstorms and torrential rain our teams have shone through, giving their best performances and doing their colleges proud.
Unsurprisingly for everyone, Fylde are topping both leagues. Yes, they’ve done it again. Despite challenges of losing key players, captain Bethany Cross has focused on rebuilding and reinventing teams in order to keep up their flawless Fylde reputation. The A team finished top with a whopping goal difference of 198! With the introduction of C team league this coming term, Fylde cannot wait for another league to sink their teeth into.
The team to watch may well be Grizedale, who are busy storming the leaderboard this year! As Lonsdale found out in their first encounter, Grizedale are no longer the ‘easy win’, beating them 36-22. They pride themselves on their exceptional communication, and have hollered their way into 4th place in the A league. Grizedale Bs are currently 8th, but hoping to catch them up. Despite losing valued exchange students, they aim to come back just as strong, incorporating ‘enthusiasm and top banter’ according to co-captain Izzy Hoggmascall, who is proud to see that Grizedale’s results finally match their efforts this year.
County have maintained a consistent middle position in both leagues: 5th in A and 6th in B. October commenced with recruiting an impressive 60 girls – with enthusiasm like this we can hope for D and E leagues in future. They tackled some intense games last term, and have endured a heavy total of six ankle and knee injuries. As well as hoping to keep out of A&E this coming term, County will be suited and booted in their first ever County Netball kit – watch out Lancaster!
Pendle finished Michaelmas term with an impressive 2nd in the A league, and 7th in B. Cartmel As are lingering 7th place, while their Bs rise to 5th. Bowland have managed a commendable 3rd in both leagues, making them the most consistent of the term.
Lonsdale are chuffed with their fantastic turn out, and are proud to be entering two C teams this term. Their B team has gone from strength to strength, soaring into 2nd place. Meanwhile, the A team, currently 7th, are not to be underestimated, as they have some new tactics up their sleeves for the coming term.
Furness college are soldiering on, after having lost many valued players in the summer. They are unperturbed by their 6th placing in the A league, and 9th in the B league, and will face the new year with new gusto. Furness pride themselves on their team dynamic, and ability to laugh and enjoy the game no matter the result.
Finally, the smallest squad is not to be underestimated. Grad college have thrived this term despite their numbers (or lack of), finishing 4th in the B league. An impressive result, considering their week-by-week drama of having to find enough players. Captain Bethany Jones is thrilled, and unruffled by her weekly struggle, concluding that ‘we’re all happy because it’s improving our fitness’.
Indeed, improving fitness without the uni-level pressure is one of the many beauties of college sports. These leagues have allowed everyone to play competitively, keep fit and have fun. Although having said that, what do uni-level players know of pressure when you compare that to college rivalries?