UAE claim unbeaten run throughout Europe Netball U17 Challenge
The United Arab Emirates U17 squad proved themselves far stronger than their opponents in this weekend’s Europe Netball U17 Challenge tournament.
A resounding four match unbeaten run with scores in their 70’s and 90’s underlined the differences in development among the participating teams. The UAE, who have invested heavily in pushing for top tier netball with their sights on competing among the Englands and Australias displayed their superiority even in their final match in which they met a Republic of Ireland who had remained unbeaten until then.
The UAE stormed into the lead in the final encounter gathering a ten point lead which the Republic of Ireland battled to try and comeback from.
The strength in-depth across the court was, however, evident as the UAE did not provide Ireland with too much breathing space to claw back the deficit inflicted in the early part of the match.
By halftime the UAE were 32-17 in the leading and sampling an unbeaten run which highlighted the differences against their opponents as they claim a spot among the top tier.
Ireland, who have seen some of their top players make pathways into top level netball, although with a talented crop of players who would on any other occasion have won the tournament, did not have the overall in-depth strength of their opponents.
A small crowd of Irish fans tried to provide some much needed support from the stands, however from the start of the second half the UAE were adding to their tally.
The match itself was a crucial moment for Gibraltar Netball with an early Sunday morning start which was bound to be assessed with a view to future events. With two top teams in play it was important for Gibraltar, as hosts, to maintain the high standards that they had been setting.
The match was to be played without any undue issues arising and with Europe Netball commentators already heaping praise upon the organisation and welcome received by Europe Netball.
From live-streaming to music entertainment during the breaks, online ticket sales, to the logistics in managing and administrating the event, organisers and volunteer personnel were on hand throughout from early morning.
The UAE versus ROI match, which could be considered a cup-final-type match between two teams with the relative status similar in part to what Gibraltar can expect in 2025 for the World Youth Championships saw yet another well organised match with entertainment on the court.
The UAE went on to lead after the third quarter by 49-25 opening the point difference gap further against a combative Ireland.
Having reached close to the 50 goal mark they looked intent on securing the one point a minute average they had more than surpassed already during the tournament.
The final quarter was a matter of pride for Ireland who needed to finish with a smaller goal difference.
However, their rest period after the third quarter was a surprising moment of dancing with Ireland’s players dancing by the bench joined by their fans on the stands.
The UAE, unrelenting in their pursuit, went on to win 65-33 claiming an unbeaten triumph during this latest edition of the Europe Netball U17 Challenge.