Netball: Crusade for netballers

PUBLISHED: 09:41 30 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:17 06 May 2010

Coaches, left to right: Jessica Young, Bobbie Knighton and Claire Anderson.

Coaches, left to right: Jessica Young, Bobbie Knighton and Claire Anderson.

A netball crusade is gathering pace in Baldock. The Baldock Crusaders Netball Club, based at Avenue Park, was formed little more than two years ago but already boasts thriving adult and junior sections. Crusaders were founded in August 2004 by schoolfrien

Natalie Massey, co-founder of Baldock Crusaders

A netball crusade is gathering pace in Baldock.

The Baldock Crusaders Netball Club, based at Avenue Park, was formed little more than two years ago but already boasts thriving adult and junior sections.

Crusaders were founded in August 2004 by schoolfriends Jessica Young and Natalie Massey.

"We both left school and wanted to play for a club locally," said 19-year-old Jessica from Bygrave who also coaches the younger girls along with 20-year-old Natalie from Baldock.

The seniors now have 28 members and two teams playing in the Marshalls Netball League.

Their juniors section started in September 2005 and more than 25 girls aged from 11 to 15 train each week on Monday nights.

The girls travel from all over the major North Herts towns and the surrounding villages to play at Baldock.

Jessica continued: "The more girls we have, the better.

"We want to get the girls in a league, possibly in Stevenage.

"We also want to start training sessions for under-11s as well."

Crusaders have four qualified coaches with more even more expected to gain their qualifications soon.

And the multi-sport area where their netball courts are based will be resurfaced next summer.

Baldock councillor Ian Knighton added: "It's an excellent development and there is demand for this type of sport.

"As a (North Herts District) council, we are trying to develop sport for girls and the club has already received several grants from us."

P Marshall Wrens defeated fellow Sandy side The Bell 35-13 in the Marshalls League. It was an unpredictable game caused by a wet court and slippery ball.

By the end of the first quarter, Marshall Wrens led 10-6. They continued to have the advantage, proving that height is not always essential when attacking in the semi-circle as shooters Max Darnell and Liz Litchfield became more confident.

The Bell though did not make it easy and changes to the defence in the second half in particular caused an upset to Marshall Wrens' attacking play although it was not enough to close down their strong lead.

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