GK – Kathryn Binks
GD – Iman Thomas
WD – Kaylea McQuade
C – Francesca Desmond
WA – Katie Flaherty
GA – Olivia Mason (Captain)
GS – Christie Simpson
Sub – Hannah Joseph
Sub – Emily Watson
Sub Gaby Titley-Wilson
Sub – Jemma King
Head Coach - Kaylea McQuade
Assistant Coach/Team Manager – Donna Swann
Fran Desmond (C) took control of the play early on and quickly settled her Falcons team, which soon began applying pressure on Linden. This created a number of turnovers for the home team, allowing Falcons to race to a 7-2 lead. Linden then found their own rhythm and began closing the gap. With both teams applying heavy defence throughout the court for the rest of the quarter, the first fifteen minutes ended Falcons Black 12-7 Linden.
Neither team made any changes during the break. Linden started where they had left off and applied heavy pressure to Falcons which appeared to rattle the home team somewhat. Linden took advantage and scored quick 5 goals. Then an ankle injury to Falcons’ Katie Flaherty (WA) meant she was replaced by Hannah Joseph, who settled in quickly. Falcons dug deep and towards the end of the quarter, promising patches of play were seen. However, they still lost the quarter 9-11.
Both teams brought on fresh legs after half-time: Titley-Wilson replaced Simpson at GS for Falcons, whilst Binks and Thomas swapped positions. Falcons had renewed energy and managed to start the quarter strongly – some great interceptions from McQuade, Thomas and Desmond in particular. This time Falcons capitalised on most of the turnovers created and edged in front of Linden by 2 goals. From then onwards it was goal-for-goal as both teams tried to hit each other on the break. In attack Desmond and Joseph worked extremely hard to open up space and feed the ball into the circle for Titley-Wilson, who scored 12 goals, allowing Falcons to take an overall lead of 29-27 into the final fifteen minutes.
Falcons made no changes for the fourth quarter. Thomas (GK), McQuade (WD) and Desmond (C) continued to turn over the ball, whilst Mason (GA) dictated much of the attacking third and Titley-Wilson (GS) looked confident in attack. There were some great patches play with both sides keeping up the high intensity and applying heavy pressure until the final whistle. In the end the match was drawn: Falcons 39-39 Linden.
Falcons’ Players of the Match went to Francesca Desmond and Olivia Mason (and thank you to Paula Watson and Deb Wilson for scoring/Timekeeping and sorting out all the refreshments – your help is very much appreciated).