Last night our under 15 girls handball team welcomed Holy Cross to Hampton High for the second round of the London Youth Games competition. Both teams qualified for this round by winning their respective borough competitions and the Holy Cross team was very athletic, technically very skilled and all in Year 10.
The game started positively for Hampton High with Hannah Rowe scoring with a powerful shot in her pivot position to give us an early lead. The next few minutes were back and forwards with both teams creating lots of chances and also defending well as a group.
The Holy Cross team were given a little bit of space at right wing and took a 2-1 lead mid way through the first half. It didn't take Hampton High long to strike back showing our main core values of resilience. Again Hannah Rowe in Year 9 took her opportunity and quickly scored two goals from in front of the goal to regain the lead. Rosie Panette then blocked a shot on the edge of our area and broke free running down the entire court to score with a jump shot using her non dominant left hand! This meant we finished the first half 4-2 ahead with all of the players giving excellent determined performances in defence. Jessica Rowe in goal had a great first half making multiple saves to keep Hampton High in the game.
At halftime we changed our tactics and Sophie Eiloart and Rosie Panette worked on being more patient in possession. This worked perfectly. In the second half Hampton High had most of the possession and forced a tiring Holy Cross into a few errors . Sophie scored from a distance, much to her own surprise! The girls continued to defend as a unit and did not concede a further goal.
They now go through to the next stage and are one game away from the London finals at the Copper Box which was the Olympic Handball venue.
The squad: Hannah Rowe, Jessica Rowe, Jessica Baines, Sophie Eiloart, Beatrice O'Riordan, Rosie Panette, Oneda Uka Karolina B.