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UPMDs 1st Netball team compete in the NAMS Tournament Finals

Written by: University of Plymouth Medics and Dentists

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On the 19th of February the University of Plymouth Medics and Dentists (UPMDs) 1st Netball team travelled up to Birmingham to compete in the National Association of Medical Schools (NAMS) Tournament Finals. This tournament would see UPMDs 1st team represent Plymouth in matches against Universities from all over the country.

Student group members shared with us an overview of the sporting event...

 


 

"The team woke up bright and early to get a coach at 6:30am in the morning in order to travel up to Birmingham in time for the start of the tournament.

We arrived to a packed sports centre in Birmingham where the atmosphere was very intense. The girls warmed up for 30 minutes and all the captains met to discuss how the day would run.

The structure of the day was to a very tight schedule. There were two groups, A and B, in which teams would compete against each other. The top two teams from each group would then head to the semi finals. We were placed into group B which would see us face Leeds 2s (previous champions), Exeter 2s, Sheffield, Keele and Swansea. For those who aren’t aware, a normal netball match is made up of four 15 minute long quarters, however, due to the amount of teams in the tournament the matches on this day would be made up of 6 minute halves. This short length of match meant that any simple mistake could prove disaster for the team.

At 11:25 the team took to the court in the first match of the day vs Swansea. In previous years Swansea have been one of the weakest teams in the Southwest, however we hadn’t managed to play them yet this season, and as the teams can drastically change each year, we didn’t know what to expect. The first half was neck and neck for the whole 6 minutes with neither team being able to get the upper hand. Plymouth did have more possession of the ball but unfortunately due to the high stakes environment, were struggling to get the goals in. The second half was much the same and the whistle blew just as Swansea had scored to get ahead. It was a tough game to start the day and a devastating defeat of 5-4.

After a break the team then faced Keele. After a debrief from the last game, everyone's heads seemed to be in a better mindset going into this match as the initial fears had been squashed. Again the match was very even throughout but we managed to get ahead in the last few seconds of the game leaving us with a win of 7-6.

Then the team were up against Leeds 2s. This was a much more difficult game against a very strong opposition. To make matters worse, one of the team fell down with an injury in the first half which really shook the girls up. Unfortunately we lost around 6-13 but the team agreed that Leeds had deserved the win as they had performed amazingly.

At this point we knew that after having lost to two teams we would have to win all of our remaining matches in order to have a chance of being in the semi finals!

Next up was a match vs Exeter 2s. After beating Exeter 1s earlier in the season we were expecting this match to be an easy win. Exeter put up a good fight but Plymouth got the win of 3-2.

Our final match was against Sheffield. This was a match we were all quite nervous for as Sheffield is a big university and so was likely to be a strong side. However, the team pulled out all the stops and demolished Sheffield. After the first half Plymouth were 2 goals ahead. In the last half Plymouth managed to keep this lead and in a crazy turn of events, in the last minute of the game a Sheffield player fell with an injury and because they didn’t adequately call to stop time, Plymouth managed to take the ball down an empty court and score the final goal of the match to make it a win of 7-2 to Plymouth! It’s fair to say that there was some tension between Plymouth and Sheffield after this debated goal.

Then the team sat and waited to hear if they had done enough to make it into the semi finals. Unfortunately, the loss against Swansea meant that we narrowly missed out on the Semi finals by 1 or 2 goals! This was gutting for the team, however, we all still had an amazing day and the team still finished higher than many of the bigger universities.

 

  Photo: UPMDs netball team

 

After being captain of this team for the past two years I wanted to take a moment to say how proud I am to have been able to coach and lead such an amazing group of girls. Before last year UPMD had never been to finals before (to our knowledge) but due to a lot of advertisement and therefore more players, over the last two years Plymouth has come out of the shadows to become one of the top teams in the South. To come fifth in such a big competition is amazing and I’m so proud of all of the girls. I’m very excited to see how UPMD will get on next year! - Emma Morland (Captain)

 


 

The final results were as follows:

  • 1st: Leeds 2s
  • 2nd: Newcastle 2s
  • 3rd: Leicester 1s
  • 4th: Swansea
  • 5th: Plymouth

 

The girls who made up the team that went to finals:

Shooters:

  • Madeline Liversedge
  • Olivia Ab Lorwerth
  • Hannah White

Mid Court:

  • Lauren Chown
  • Martha Griffiths
  • Lizzy McCourt

Defenders:

  • Freyaa Grinstead
  • Rebeka Little
  • Ellis Milner
  • Emma Morland (C)

 

  Photos: UPMDs at NAMS

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