It was always going to be a tough game for Nottingham's Leapoole against Derby's Pennine in this week's Regional League Division One fixture.
Leapoole made a good start and immediately put Pennine under pressure by taking an early lead. However, Pennine soon clawed their way back into the match by making good use of their experienced players, who started to work the ball up the court with increasing ease. This meant that by the end of the first quarter, Leapoole were trailing slightly 12-11.
In the second quarter, some accurate shooting from Leapoole's Rebecca Taylor and Jo Hale as well as some impressive work by Leapoole's centre-court players helped the team overturn the deficit and take a six goal lead. The third quarter began equally well for Leapoole. Carley Bush came on as Wing Defence and her solid work helped the team increase their lead to ten goals. Ever competitive though, Pennine's tight marking meant that they managed to close the deficit with some strong defending and a succession of quick goals. To make things worse, Leapoole's Kat Lewis (Goal Defence), who alongside Kate Fairhurst (Goal Keeper), had been exceptional throughout the game, had to go off due to illness. However, Leonie Smikle took over and kept the circle defence strong with some flying interceptions. The score at the end of the third quarter was 30-35 in Leapoole's favour.
It was therefore all to play for in the last quarter and Leapoole knew it wasn't going to be an easy finish. As the game drew to a close, Pennine finished strongly but Leapoole dug deep and all pulled together to hold the lead and secure victory with a final score of 39-42.