Driving rain threatened to stop play as Rutland County Netball league held its summer fun tournament at Oakham’s Catmose Sports Centre on Sunday but spirits remained high and all were determined to play on, as 13 teams competed across two pools to win a place through to the finals.
An unusual format required each player to select their bib out of a bag before the start of each game. With fast-paced matches and a quick turnaround between fixtures, teams playing out of their usual positions added to the challenge and truly tested the versatility of each player.
While Rutland teams did their league proud, four guest teams won through to the semi-finals.
As the sun started to break through after lunch, Boston won their tie against Northants JMs 9-4, while Sleaford Hurricanes took a very convincing 15-1 win over Bassingham Belles. Undeterred by this result, the Belles came back fighting to win the third place play-off.
Sleaford Hurricanes proved the strongest team on the day, winning the final against Boston 7-2.
Final standings: 1st Sleaford Hurricanes, 2nd Boston 3rd Bassingham Belles, 4th Northants JMs, 5th Yee Ha, 6th Melton Marvels, 7th Randoms, 8th Papura NC, 9th Allsorts, 10th Vixens, 11th Mighty Ospreys, 12th Stan’s Stars, 13th Rutland Lakers.
Player of the Tournament: Sophie McGarvie of Rutland-based Stan’s Stars
Joint Most Sporting Players: Charlotte Bone of Melton Marvels and Kaira McHattie of Sleaford Hurricanes.