Falcons Black’s goal was nonetheless the same – to move away from the regulation playoff places – although with only seven players able to take to the court, it was going to be a tough ask.
The Leicestershire team started positively and matched Turnford goal for goal. In fact, it was just one turnover from Turnford’s defence which saw them take a slight advantage going into the first break, with a 12-10 lead.
The second quarter began how the first quarter ended with little separating the two teams. Unfortunately for Falcons Black, a slight groin injury to captain, Katie Flaherty saw the team ease off the throttle slightly, which allowed Turnford to capitalise on Falcon Black’s lack of substitutes and take a 24-17 lead at half time. It could have been more but for the shooting pairing of Christie Simpson and Lauren Steadman who only missed three shots between them for the half.
Flaherty’s injury meant that Ellie Durcan moved into the Centre (C) position to work alongside Hannah Joseph at Wing Attack (WA), whilst Lauren Steadman moved to Goal Attack (GA). The changes gave Falcons Black a much-needed extra burst of energy and the team took quarter 10-9. Both shooters recorded 100% accuracy for the quarter with Steadman’s shooting particularly impressive.
Falcons Black therefore went into the last quarter six goals down. The defensive circle pairing of Dom McKee and Issy Beighton, who had both worked hard throughout the game, finished with 9 clean interceptions and 12 tips between them for the match but it wasn’t quite enough to stop Turnford winning, 45-39.
All in all this was a game which showed that even with limited players available and with those that could play playing out of position, Falcons Black were more than a match for a team that lies third in the league. So much so that Falcons Black were disappointed not to have been within 5 goals for a bonus-point loss.
The team competed well and can be proud of their performance but the ‘Player of the Match’ went to Dom McKee.
Squad: Lauren Steadman GS, Christie Simpson GA, Hannah Joseph WA, Katie Flaherty C, Ellie Durcan WD, Issy Beighton GD, Dom McKee GK
Shooting Stats: Lauren Steadman 8/10 80%; Christie Simpson 31/41 76%; Team 39/51 77%
Tips/interceptions: Beighton 15; McKee 5; Joseph 4; Durcan 1; Steadman 2; Simpson 1; Flaherty 1