Coach Jim's Report

Coach Jim’s Report: Mystics U14 Play-off Quarter Final

Following our decisive victory over a spirited, well-coached opponent in the play-off quarter finals, I am disinclined to specifically give name checks to a number of players who undoubtedly deserve recognition for their outstanding performances as it is likely that spies from the south might gain insight. Suffice to say that it wasn’t Sussex Storm who gave such a thunderous display throughout the first quarter to render the contest all but over after only 10 minutes.

The impressive firepower contained within our five starters was there for all to see from the outset, despite one of them being so unwell that she looked paler than a bottle of milk! Our first quarter tall of 32 points constituted a massive 21 point lead. This rose to 31 by half-time, despite using all 12 Mystics in the second quarter (and subsequent 3rd and 4th).

The margin extended to 40 and it became clear that we could almost certainly have pushed it to many more using solely our stronger combinations of players. However, I have never been an advocate of relentlessly grinding less experienced teams into the ground by running up a cricket score. For me, it is far more productive all round to give all of one’s own players extended minutes to show their worth.

It mattered little that this enabled Sussex to close the gap enough to bring an air of respectability to the score line at 88-59. Our bench gained useful court time, which may stand them in good stead if we need to call on them at Final Fours on 4 and 5 May at Belle Vue. Our schedule for this climax to the season is as follows:

Saturday 4 May v the winners of Kingston Lions and Lancashire Spinners at either 12.00 or 4.00.

If we lose that, we play for 3rd or 4th place on Sunday 5 May at 12.15 but if we win on Saturday, we progress to the National Final at 4.45 where our opponents are expected to be Milton Keynes. 

Congratulations Mystics. You have done yourselves and the club proud. Sincere thanks to all our supporters but with one reservation from a grumpy old man. Whoever decided that banging drums for 40 minutes is helpful is, in my opinion, misguided. It causes two types of headache – one from the incessant noise and another because it makes in-time coaching impossible. The players are unable to hear advice or praise. If anyone feels the need to bash something at the Finals, please make it a triangle or a marshmallow!

Many thanks to James, Louise and Laura plus the excellent table officials.

Best wishes