Gibraltar takes silver in Netball Europe's Challenge section in Belfast
The Gibraltar team entered the tournament, which was this year held in Belfast, as the reigning champions in the section having won in Gibraltar last year.
An initial defeat against invitational side Dubia brought some reality to this years challenges. Dubai proved to be too strong a contender in the Invitational section, winning their match against Gibraltar by 55-25, and later in the weekend taking the invitational section.
Gibraltar then faced Northern Ireland’s development squad. A strong opponent from a side whose main squad has been playing in the Championship section.
The match was to prove a test for the young Gibraltarian girls. Playing in Belfast Gibraltar faced the host nation’s B side in what proved to be a very exciting match. Gibraltar overcame the odds and clinched victory by a solitary point winning 45-44.
They were then to meet with the Republic of Ireland, a match which in the past they had proven they could win.
Gibraltar went into the third day with two victories under their belts as they beat the Irish girls convincingly by 54-21.
Gibraltar’s final test would be against Switzerland, a match which would decide whether they could take gold again.
A crucial match which either side could have taken, saw Switzerland steam ahead in the end winning 43-27.
Gibraltar’s Under 17 coach Janice Moreno wrote on Facebook after the match “We've done better than expected and put up a real fight against Swiss. The girls gave it their all today. Yes there were mistakes, yes they put their heads down at times, but they picked up and never gave up. We sometimes forget how young they are and how much effort they put into this. We were not going to let them win easy that's for sure. Super proud of this team. The silver will be coming back to Gib.”
Anna Hernandez was also named best player within the section. Coach Janice Moreno’s sister, and also part of the coaching team commented “Goes to show that Gibraltar continues to nurture and develop home grown talent and is consistently rising the standards of Netball in every aspect! With all players born and bred in Gibraltar and an average age of 15 they can sure hold their heads high and look forward to future competitions!”
Switzerland 43-27 Gibraltar
Gibraltar 54 – 21 Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland Dev Squad 44 – 45 Gibraltar
Gibraltar 25 - 55 DubaiGibraltar took silver in the Netball Europe Under 17 Challenge section after failing to beat Switzerland.