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Netball and Hockey Tour to Spain and Gibraltar
Seventeen girls from Grammar & Syntax, accompanied by Mrs Hornby and Mrs Luker, went on a six day tour to Gibraltar and Spain over half term.
Arriving in Gibraltar on October 17th, the first netball match was played at the Victoria Stadium against East Gate, a very talented local team. Our U16 team, captained by Eleanor Charles, played superbly with Rosie Isola and Zebe Graham shooting very well to win a closely fought match 23-18. The U15 team then took to the court, captained by Ellie Hurst. Despite some excellent defensive work, in particular by Yaryna Antonyuk and Ria Jhalley, the girls lost 19-5.
The tour party then boarded a Dolphin Adventure boat and saw over 20 dolphins in the Bay of Gibraltar. This brilliant experience was followed by a wonderful tea of paella and chocolate brownies at Rosie Isola’s home in Spain. Everyone sang Happy Birthday to Mrs Luker, who had a special brownie with a candle on top!
On the third day there were netball fixtures for both teams against Monscalpe: the U16s, captained by Zebe Graham, won 36-6; the U15s, captained by Yaryna Antonyuk, lost 15-12 to the A Team, with the girls coming back strongly in the final stages with some excellent shooting from Beatrice Booth and Jess Smith. A cable car trip to the Top of The Rock followed, organised by Mr Isola. Even though we had been warned about the inquisitive nature of the monkeys we were surprised and amused when an ape decided to jump on Mrs Hornby’s bag, unzip it and steal her hoody, before trying to take Eleanor’s rucksack!
The next day the tour group transferred to Malaga and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon on the beach after a busy three days in Gibraltar. On Tuesday, a morning of shopping preceded an afternoon of culture, visiting the cathedral, Picasso Museum and Malaga’s Roman ruins. At 4.30pm the group departed for their first hockey match, at an impressive facility boasting an athletics track, sports hall and astro turf. The girls were a little surprised by the young age of the opposition, but it soon became clear that the girls of Malaga 91 really knew how to play. The match was incredibly entertaining with lots of chances for both teams; Stonyhurst made the initial breakthrough when a mistake in defence allowed Beatrice Booth to smash a ball into the net. She then scored a second goal but the umpire had already blown for a penalty corner; thankfully, captain and joint player of the match Kate Bullock took the ball round the first runner and fired it home. Malaga then went 3-2 up but with time running out Bullock hit the ball towards the goal, hitting a defender’s foot on the line. Before the umpire could award the flick Zebe Graham slotted home the rebound to draw 3-3 – a fair result for a brilliant match. Lizzie Pattison was awarded joint player of the match for her reading of the game, interceptions and distribution; special mention must also be made of Harriet Morgan and Jessica Brunskill who both volunteered to go in goal as the squad had no goalkeeper – both were brilliant and made some super saves.
On the final full day of the tour the girls enjoyed a 30 minute segway tour around the city. This was not without drama as Kate Bullock, Yaryna Antonyuk & Jessica Smith all managed to crash! We also headed to the beach for a couple of hours to enjoy the sunshine, before preparing for the final hockey match of tour.
This was against Victoria College from Belfast, also on tour in Spain. The match was very close and the defence, led by captain Alice Keunen, held firm until the last ten minutes when the opposition fired a shot which hit the inside of the post and trickle in off Harriet Morgan’s pads, resulting in a 1-0 defeat. Player of the match went to Zebe Graham for her tireless running and excellent play.
The tour party would like to thank Mr and Mrs Albert Isola for their outstanding hospitality and for organising all the extra trips in Gibraltar.
Mrs D Hornby
Syntax: Kate Bullock, Eleanor Charles, Zebe Graham, Rosie Isola, Alice Keunen, Harriet Morgan, Sophie Perry, Paula Taboada, Ana Wheeler
Grammar: Yaryna Antonyuk, Katie Belderbos, Beatrice Booth, Jessica Brunskill, Eleanor Hurst, Ria Jhalley, Elizabeth Pattison, Jessica Smith