In this week’s East Midlands Netball Regional League Division 2 game (28/10/12), Falcons Yellow were made to work hard once again to keep their winning streak going. Hoping to complete their sixth straight victory and to retain top spot, the team came up against a very good Lincoln City 2 side, who pushed them all the way to the final whistle.
Falcons Yellow started the game with the seven players who finished their previous match so strongly: Nina Warren (Goal Shooter), Sarah Bottomley (Goal Attack), Rebecca Sims (Wing Attack), Laura Owen (Centre), Tamsin Mason (Wing Defence), Samantha Brown (Goal Defence) and Beth Jackson (Goal Keeper). Melanie Brennan, Weller Howard and Jo Holt started on the bench.
It was ‘business as usual’ for the defensive trio of Mason, Brown and Jackson, who continued to work well together and make life difficult for Lincoln City 2’s attack. Falcons Yellow’s defence was strong enough for the team to take a hold of the first quarter but the opposition’s Goal Attack (GA) and Goal Shooter (GS) played extremely well and managed to score enough goals to keep them in the game. At the end of the first quarter, Falcons Yellow had a well-deserved seven goal lead at 19-12.
Falcons Yellow were forced to make some untimely changes before the start of second quarter. Howard came on at Wing Attack (WA) and a reshuffle at the back saw Sims move to Wing Defence (WD) and Mason to Goal Keeper (GK).
With the team adjusting to their new positions, Lincoln City 2 took advantage of the situation and capitalised on any of Falcons Yellow’s mistakes, to take control of the second quarter. Falcons Yellow’s spectators and bench looked on nervously but the team still felt they had enough to come back at the opposition. Falcons Yellow kept working hard and eventually settled down to retain their lead, if only by two goals. Lincoln City 2 took the quarter 13-8, with the half-time score being Falcons Yellow 27 – 25 Lincoln City 2.
Falcons Yellows had time to regroup during the break and decided to make one further change with Melanie Brennan coming on for Owen at Centre (C).
Falcons Yellow played steady, patient and intelligent netball during the third quarter. Howard and Brennan worked the ball into the shooters, who duly obliged by converting the chances that were presented to them. The defence remained solid at the back and Brown and Sims backed up the attack with some great support up the court. At the three-quarter time whistle, Falcons Yellow had increased their lead by four goals to go into the break leading by 41 goals to 37.
Falcons Yellow made further changes for the final quarter by moving Sims back to Wing Attack (WA) and Mason back to Wing Defence (WD). Jackson came on at Goal Keeper (GK).
Falcons Yellow began the final period strongly and opened up an eleven-goal lead. However, Lincoln City 2 fought their way back and closed the deficit to within three goals. Falcon Yellow’s bench and supporters were again showing signs of nerves but the Falcons Yellow team produced some fine netball in the closing stages to eventually win by seven goals.
The final score was Falcons Yellow 55 – 48 Lincoln City 2. It was a great match but not for the faint hearted.
Rebecca Sims won Falcon Yellow’s own ‘Player of the Match’ award for her versatility and superb play in both the attacking and defensive thirds. However, it was close. Lincoln City 2 voted Falcons Yellow’s Nina Warren as their player of the match. Warren, who, although ill, had shot superbly well.
Well played one and all.