Sunday saw a somewhat depleted Falcons Black squad make their way to play Turnford in their latest England Netball Premier League 2 match.
Falcons Yellow secured their return to Regional League Division 1 after a resounding win over Grasshopper.
The starting line up was Nina Warren (Goal Shooter, GS), Weller Howard (Goal Attack, GA), Laura Owen (Wing Attack, WA), Melanie Brenan (Centre, C), Samantha Brown (Wing Defence, WD), Liz Stephenson (Goal Defence, GD), Beth Jackson (Goal Keeper, GK) with Rebecca Sims, Lynsey Cover and Sarah Bottomley on the bench.
Falcons Yellow got off to a flying start and maintained their lead throughout going into the half time break 34-14 ahead.
Changes at half time saw three straight swaps; with Cover coming on at Wing Defence (WD) to replace Brown, Sims coming on at Wing Attack (WA) for Owen and Bottomley coming on at Goal Shooter (GS) to replace Warren who moved out to Goal Attack (GA) replacing Howard. Grasshopper came out fighting in the third quarter but the sterling Falcons Yellow defence meant that it was not quite enough for Grasshopper to gain ground and close the gap.
The final quarter saw further changes for the Derbyshire-based team with Brown coming on to replace Stephenson at Goal Defence (GD), Owen replaced Brenan at Centre (C) and a swap round in the shooting circle saw Warren at Goal Shooter (GS) and Bottomley moved out to Goal Attack (GA).
Grasshoppers Netball Club took on Sleaford Barge in the East Midlands Netball Regional League Division 2 this weekend. Whilst Grasshoppers made a sluggish start to the match, Sleaford came sprinting out of the traps and with some slick passing and accurate shooting to take an 18-8 lead by the end of the first quarter. Sleaford’s solid, springy defence made things difficult for the Grasshopper’s attack.
Coach Anne Melling changed the team around after the first quarter, replacing Karmen Askew at Wing Attack (WA) with Claire Fielding and bringing on Tracy Glover at Goal Keeper (GK) – who was making her first appearance for Grasshoppers for several weeks. This improved things somewhat and Grasshoppers started to mount a fight back but Sleaford were still dominant and eventually won the second quarter by 15 goals to 9. The half time score was 17-33.
After the disappointment of losing the first two matches of 2013, Falcons Yellow were looking to stem the tide and get back to winning ways against Lincoln City 2.
With the frustration of losing the second match of the New Year to Nottingham Knights still fresh in their minds, Falcons Yellow came out all guns blazing and were determined to enforce a convincing win over Lincoln City 2.
The first quarter was a tight affair with Lincoln 2 taking the match to Falcons Yellow, testing their resolve. However the Derby-based team dug deep and came out on top at the end of the first quarter (16-10).
It was a first-time outing for the shooting duo of Nina Warren (Goal Shooter, GS) and Weller Howard and it proved to be a winning combination with both players taking their chances on goal, converting with accuracy. Falcons Yellow started to settle into their stride and began to stamp their authority on the game up and down the court, playing with the confidence and fluidity that had been lacking in the previous two matches.
On the 10th February, Falcons Black Netball Club played Grangetown in the Premier League division 2. After a loss to the team earlier in the season, Falcons Black were determined to set the record straight this time around.
The Falcons Black starting line up from GS to GK was Charlotte Roye, Christie Simpson, Hannah Joseph, Katie Flaherty, Dom McKee, Kaylea McQuade and Lauren Steadman.
Lincoln City 2 (the Imps) has not had the best season. After injury, illness and loaning players, they have only won two games this season. But today they had another opportunity to get their season back on track against Leicestershire’s Charnwood Sapphires.
With goal keeper Lizzie Saywell absent due to illness and Victoria Adams’ recent call up to the first team, Lincoln City 2 were left with only one defender. Out of position, Megan Samways stepped in at Goal Defence (GD) to provide strong support and under 16s superstar, Carla Baker started at Wing Defence (WD). With all the reshuffling it was inevitable Lincoln City 2 would take a while to get going so they lost the first quarter, 12-8.
The formation remained the same for the second quarter but the Imps continually struggled to get the ball out of defence as Charnwood Sapphires extended their lead to 26-16.
In the third quarter Lincoln City 2 introduced some changes. Laura Forsey fought hard at Centre (C) and Sophie Reed played well at Goal Attack (GA). Charlotte Bayes moved from Wing Attack (WA) to Wing Defence (WD) and in doing so, created space and an option to pass to. The score at the end of the quarter was 25-40 to Charnwood Sapphire.
The Imps made further changes for the final quarter. Carla was brought back on at Goal Keeper (GK) and Megan moved to Wing Defence (WD). She made an excellent save from Charnwood’s first centre pass but Lincoln 2 were unable to capitalise on a great start and lost the quarter by 12 goals. The final score was 30-57 in Charnwood Sapphire’s favour.
The Imps thought that Charnwood Sapphire’s Goal Shooter (GS) was fantastic today whilst the opposition awarded the Imps’ Zoe Cooper as their ‘Player of the Match’ for her efforts in the centre court as Centre (C) and Wing Attack (WA).
Lincoln City 1s took on Bluetits in today’s East Midlands Netball Regional League Division 1 match with Victoria Adams making her first start as an official first team player at Goal Defence (GD) alongside Lucy Heathershaw. Lincoln 1 started slowly though and struggled to get the ball into the attacking semi-circle and lost the first quarter 5-16.
In the second quarter, Lincoln City 1’s defence was much tighter with Vic and Lucy continuing to make tips, rebounds and interceptions between them. The quarter finished with Bluetits up 17-32.
In the third quarter the defence began to force errors from the Bluetits attack. Katherine Sturton and Gemma Carter switched positions in the centre court with Gemma using the court well, creating space and feeding dangerously into the attack. Lincoln 1 had improved again during this period but lost the quarter by 5 goals, trailing 28-46 as the fourth quarter approached.
In the final quarter Lincoln City 1 narrowed the gap. Lucy and Vic switched in defence, turning over Bluetit’s centre twice in a row. Katherine made a great interception and Anna’s shooting was fantastic as the attack worked well together. Lincoln City 1 won the last quarter 16-11, but the damage had already been done. The final score was 44-57.
Bluetits awarded Captain Gemma Carter as their Player of the Match. Gemma played well at both Centre (C) and Wing Attack (WA), created options for her team and showed experience when passing into attack.
This week, Grasshopper Netball Club came up against East Midlands Netball Regional League Division Two rivals Brigg and District Netball Club. The first quarter began with both teams scoring consistently from their centre passes, but a Brigg and District turnover from a Grasshopper’s centre allowed them to sneak ahead and take the first quarter 11-15.
Coach Anne Melling made some changes in the second quarter; Beth Smith came on as Goal Shooter (GS), Karmen Askew came on as Wing Attack (WA), Laura Harbour moved from Goal Defence (GD) to Wing Defence (WD), Stephanie Hiom moved from Goal Keeper (GK) to Goal Defence (GD) and Kate Garner came on as Goal Keeper (GK), with Andy Flewitt, Clare Fielding and Sarah Melling leaving the court. As a result, Grasshopper had a superb second quarter, with Garner and Hiom combining well in defence, and the whole team turning over a couple of Brigg and District centres to take the lead. Grasshopper took the second quarter 15-10. Having completed the comeback, they now led 26-25!
The same line up took to the court for the third quarter as Grasshopper maintained their dominance, winning the third by 11 goals to 9. The scores sat at a close 37-34 moving into the final quarter.
At the break, coach Melling made further changes, bringing off Garner and moving Hiom to Goal Keeper (GK), moving Harbour across to Goal Defence (GD), and bringing back Melling at Wing Defence (WD). Unfortunately though, it was not enough to sustain the Grasshopper ascendancy and Brigg and District began to take a strong lead in the final quarter. Grasshopper started to mount yet another last gasp comeback, but time was against them and they lost the quarter 14-19. The final score finished 51-53 to Brigg and District. In spite of losing in the nail biting finale, it was by far Grasshopper’s best match of the season. Player of the match was awarded to Goal Attack (GA) Donna Osborn.
Hinckley Hurricanes took their recent successes in the Loughborough Town League and Cup competitions into their East Midlands Netball Regional League Division 1 fixture against Nottingham City. Following the 33-50 defeat in the pair's earlier encounter in the season, Hurricanes were poised for revenge.
The game did not start the way Hurricanes would have liked though and they were soon behind by 2 goals. However, the players began to find their feet and brought the score back level before edging ahead for the first time. Smooth transitions of the ball through the mid court by Sarah Beaty, Charlotte Taylor, Carly Walton and Debbie Skene then set up more Hurricane attacks, which were aided by Katie Pallett’s and Karen Lowdon’s accurate and well-timed feeds into Laura Matkins at Goal Shooter (GS). The team effort enabled Hurricanes to keep hold of the lead into quarter time at 13-10.
The first quarter performance inspired the Hurricanes players and the team never looked back. Nottingham City tried to sneak back into the match at times but the Leicestershire team finished all remaining quarters ahead (21-20, 34-30, 45-38) and in the end tried to pull further away with the final whistle looming.
Final Score: Hinckley Hurricanes 45-38 Nottingham City
Sarah Beaty was voted as Player of the Match for her performance at Wing Defence (WD). She hassled her opponent tirelessly throughout the match, whilst also creating a quick outlet out of defence. It was an early birthday present for the baby of the team, who celebrates her 21st birthday this week.
Also worthy of a mention is Hurricanes' Chairwoman, Stephanie Dunn, who on Saturday became Mrs Stephanie Cheney at St Catherine's Church in Burbage, accompanied by many from the club. Congratulations Steph!