Hoping to capitalise on their opening victory last week, Southgate took to the court with an equally strong and talented squad (Brittany Coleman, Sarah Thornhill, Nina Warren, Tamikah Campbell, Olivia Murphy, Louise Shaw, Julia Berzanskis, Kay Sparkes, Emma Warren and Karen Fellows). The squad looked in great shape showing skill, speed and agility as they warmed up on court. Captain Emma Warren stood tall and assertively proclaimed, ‘’Last week was a great win and we want more of the same, we are in it to win it girls, so let’s play our own game and take every turn over to goal.’’ Wise words were also given to the team by ex-England Captain Olivia Murphy (C), who told the starting squad to, “Go out hard and drive onto every ball.”
Murphy and Captain Warren seized the opportunity to bring on fresh legs as Southgate charged into the second quarter with Brittany Coleman (GS) and Kay Sparkes (WD) unleashed. Nina Warren continued her assertive play, driving onto the ball and standing strong in the circle, whilst the accuracy of Southgate’s shooting meant the points difference between the two teams continued to rise. Kay Sparkes, who has recently joined Southgate, stuck tight to her opponent forcing TFC Too to make mistakes in attack. As both teams left the court at half time the score board showed a 33 goal lead to Southgate (43-10 overall).
With an improvement in the accuracy of the TFC shooters, Southgate agreed at half time they needed to up their game. Murphy, and the Warren sisters took a well-deserved rest on the bench allowing Thornhill, Shaw and Berzanskis to go out strong and refreshed for the third quarter. Julia Berzanskis was fired and wired as she made her debut performance in the Regional League (having sat out the first game due to a gymnastic-related back injury). Julia showed strong defensive skills as she battled for any loose ball and leapt high with outstretched arms in the second stage of defence. Louise Shaw had an exceptional quarter at Centre despite spending most of the time on the floor; her athleticism and determination was clearly on show. The Southgate ladies’ efforts left the third quarter with a meaty score of 66-14 in Southgate’s favour.
With Tamikah Campbell going off to get some ice for a knee injury the team made some more changes for the last quarter. Fellows and Thornhill joined Brasher on the bench for a tense finale as Southgate pushed hard for 90 goals. Coleman displayed excellent levels of skill, managing to hold onto the powerful passes delivered by the former international, Murphy. Sparkes also upped her game, making several impressive interceptions. The ladies on the bench looked on in awe as their team mates racked up an outstanding final score of 87-20.
Great sportsmanship was showed by both teams throughout; it was a clean, fair match with high quality umpires who allowed the game to flow. A splendid sporting attitude was demonstrated by Campbell in the last few minutes which led to a standing ovation as she gave up her ice for an injured TFC Too player. TFC Too fought hard throughout the game and did not give up; Southgate players agreed after the game that despite the difference in scores TFC played a good, strong game, making Southgate work hard throughout.
The following shooting statistics were accurately calculated by Jackie throughout the game, while Sarah Guy was nominated as the team’s official photographer. The shooting trio of Warren (78%), Coleman (78%) and Thornhill (76%) were pleased with their overall score but are aiming for 80% success-rate in the next game.
And despite a late night for Thornhill she was thrilled to celebrate her 31st birthday by being nominated as the Player of the Match by TFC Too. The Southgate ladies are looking forward to more team bonding time at Coach Brasher’s 70th Rip Roaring Barn Dance before their next big game against Grasshoppers.