Peebles U13 Rockets 28

Paisley U13 12

Peebles U15 Pulse 25

Paisley U15 26

PEEBLES Netball continued its unprecedented run of 13 years of reaching the Scottish Youth Cup finals.

And it was a jubilant farewell for the woman who's been at the helm throughout.

This year's showcase for the best teams in Scotland was held last weekend in Aberdeen.

And, a first for these Championships, both finals featured the same clubs - Peebles and Paisley.

To reach the finals, the best teams across the length and breadth of Scotland, play in qualifying rounds, then through knock-out stages, with any loss resulting in departure from the competition.

Adding needle to the U13 match was the result of last year’s Cup final in which Peebles beat Paisley by only two goals, in extra time.

This year, the Peebles Rockets were full of confidence, having already experienced a national final, winning the Scottish Schools Championships just six weeks earlier.

The Rockets were not going to let the double-national victory slip out of their hands, and were focused and determined from the start.

With every player in the squad taking to the court during the match, solid teamwork and outstanding skills, the Peebles girls dominated. Paisley were not allowed into their game, with Peebles forcing their errors and capitalising on these to their own advantage.

A convincing win by 28 goals to 12 ensued, with Jess Colledge, vice-captain and Borders District player, being awarded Player of the Match by Netball Scotland, as an added bonus.

Peebles U15 Pulse have had challenges along their pathway to the finals, with injuries part of these.

Added to school trips taking away key players over the final practices, and the team came to finals day hoping their solid training over the year would see them through.

And so it almost transpired – with the match close throughout, and the small lead Paisley built up towards the end, clawed back in the final minutes.

But it was Paisley’s teamwork which secured the final score and victory, with Peebles only one goal behind.

Peebles Netball Director and coach of 13 years, Linda Nicholson couldn't hide her pride and delight at the final whistle.

But she disclosed that she is now stepping back from the Peebles netball club to concentrate on her athletics coaching.

Linda told us: “I wanted to go out on a high and this year the Peebles teams have done better than ever before, dominating the Scotland Junior ranks, and punching, as ever, well above their weight.

"To reach both Youth Cup and the Scottish Schools finals every year since I started the club has been simply outstanding, with no other junior club in Scotland coming anywhere near this record.

"Our Under 13s picked up both titles this year, making this the sixth year of seven for this age group. That is a truly outstanding record.

"We have worked very hard indeed this year for our successes.”

Peebles Rockets: Natalie Beatton (Capt), Jess Colledge (Vice Capt), Hannah Begg, Erin Blacklaw, Stella Davidson, Hala Istephan, Annie Newton, Chloe Smith, Hannah Sorrell, Heather Adams (injured).

Peebles Pulse: Jess Mitchell (Capt), Cerys Finn (Vice Capt), Nairne Wells (Vice Capt), Arabella Brett, Mya Davidson, Stephanie Glasgow, Georgia Harburn, Carla Latto, Hannah McLean-Foreman.