Starting line up
GK Nicky Shipley
GD Bec Heald
WD Emily Fisher
C Jo Bush Fillingham
WA Bryony Franks
GA Pauline Antcliff
GS Hattie Haswell
Brigg Blades returned to Loughborough this week for their third game of the 14/15 East Midlands Netball Regional League Division 2. They were up against youthful and energetic Ripley squad but having secured a win last week, Brigg were keen to keep the momentum going. Brigg lost "the toss" but their defence soon created the first opening, albeit an uncharacteristic miss from Brigg's shooters meant the chance was not capitalised on. Meanwhile Shipley, Heald, Fisher and Bush worked closely as a unit to close down Ripley's attacking play and force the team into errors. This allowed Heald and Shipley to make some stunning interceptions. At the attacking end, Brigg’s Franks, Antcliff and Haswell linked into the play well and produced some spectacular goal conversions. Quarter time score 15 - 8 to Brigg.
Brigg remained consistent in their play during the next fifteen minutes, continuing to create opportunities throughout the court and capitalise where they could. It meant the team extended their lead with a quarter score of 13 - 7 and a half time score of 28 - 15.
Half time changes saw Kelly Major take to court in place of Emily Fisher. Major continued to apply pressure and worked tirelessly alongside Bush on the edge of the circle to position themselves effectively so they could support teammates Heald and Shipley by picking up any loose balls. Meanwhile Heald and Bush displayed borderline superhuman work rates to ensure the netball was effectively brought down the court, linking the play seamlessly into attack. However, Ripley's defence had upped their game and restricted the movement of Antcliff and Haswell in the circle. This made it much more difficult for Franks and Bush to find them but patience paid off and Brigg took the quarter 8 -4 to have an overall lead of 36 points to 19.
Both teams faded during the final 15 minutes, which meant mistakes crept in! However, Brigg kept their heads and continued to support each other to maximise energy efficiency. This helped them to further punish the opposition for any mistakes made. In the end, experience prevailed and the quarter was won by Brigg 15 -6, with a full time score of 51 - 25. A last second penalty shot conversion by Antcliff also denied Ripley, what would have been a well-deserved point on the leader board.
Once again the ‘Player of the Match’ award was once again very close this week but in the end awarded to a well-deserved Bec Heald.