Falcons Black’s third match on the season saw them host Kent County Netball Club (07/10/12).
With a squad of only nine, the ladies knew it was going to be a tough match that would require support from everyone on and off the court.
During the opening minutes of the game, Falcons Black allowed Kent County to take an early lead. However, once the players had settled into the game, they started to find their feet and produce a more solid display. The team began intercepting many of Kent County’s balls and by the end of the first quarter, they were only losing by two goals – the score being 10-12 in Kent County’s favour.
With no changes made to either side at the break the game remained extremely close during the second quarter. Falcons Black demonstrated some fantastic through-court play and impressive accurate shooting during this period. However, Kent County’s great defence, coupled with some untimely unforced errors on centre passes by Falcons Black meant that the away team extended their lead to four, with the half time score being 22-26.
The half time break allowed Falcons Black to reflect on where they were losing possession and what to focus on in order to close in on Kent County’s lead. Changes were made to the line-up and Eleanor Durcan came on at Centre for Hannah Joseph.
With fresh legs on court, the team got off to a flying start in the second half. Falcons Black’s defence remained tight on Kent County’s attack throughout the court but especially so in the defensive circle, putting huge amounts of pressure on the Kent shooters. The Falcons Black shooters also managed to retain high shooting stats during this quarter. Together, the home team not only won this 15-minute contest but also led going into a quarter for the first time in the match. Falcons Black 36-33 Kent County.
To retain their lead Falcons Black knew they needed to focus on playing their own game for the remaining fifteen minutes. The Falcons Black defence continued to turn over numerous balls and their shooters continued with the accuracy, which had allowed them to take the lead in the previous quarter.
In the end, Falcons Black extended their lead for their first win of the season. The final score was Falcons Black 51-41 Kent County.
Overall, it was fantastic team effort by Falcons Black, where every team player supported each other throughout the whole game. Most importantly though, it showed that Falcons Black can fight hard and win even when needing to come from behind, which gives them great encouragement for the remainder of the season.
Starting line-up: Helen Hancock (Goal Shooter, GS); Christie Simpson (Goal Attack, GA); Katie Flaherty (Wing Attack, WA); Hannah Joseph (Centre, C); Anna Mulderrig (Wing Defence, WD); Issy Beighton (Goal Defence, GD); Jade Forbes-Wattley (Goal Keeper, GK)
Subs: Charlotte Roye, Eleanor Durcan
After a week off, the Falcons Black squad travelled to Birmingham at the weekend for their first away game in this season’s Premier League Division 2 (30/09/12). Both Coach Kaylea McQuade and Captain Katie Flaherty were unavailable for the trip so it was the Manager’s turn to take charge of the team with Dominique McKee (Wing Defence) stepping in as captain.
The game started disappointingly for Falcons Black as they struggled to get their attack going, especially with their final passes into the circle. Contrasting that, Linden’s attack had settled much quicker and the opposition had soon scored six unanswered goals. However, as the quarter wore on, the Falcons Black ladies found their feet and with it some flow to their game. They began to match Linden almost goal-for-goal but still needed to chase down Linden’s early advantage.
At quarter time the attack was shuffled about in an attempt to increase the tempo of the game to suit Falcons Black’s style of play. Simpson replaced Hancock at Goal Attack (GA), who herself moved into the Goal Shooter (GS) position. However, the ladies struggled to continue the fine form they had ended the first quarter with. Falcons Black’s defence worked hard to turn over balls but the chances they created to close the score line were not always successfully taken at the other end of the court. Too often, there were misplaced passes or the ball travelled off the back line. It all meant that Linden had increased their lead by half time.
The half time break gave the ladies an opportunity to regroup and refocus on what had become a 14-goal game to them. Muldrigg replaced Djokic at Wing Attack (WA), which appeared to give the team the impetus they needed. Falcons Black made some fast-paced breaks from their line, which culminated in more opportunities in the circle. It meant the third quarter was much more tightly contested with Falcons Black scoring their most goals during this period.
As the team went into the last quarter, more changes were made with Falcons Black’s Smith coming into centre (C). The fresh legs helped her team to continue to attack at pace but it was clear that Linden still remained the stronger side. They continued to put Falcons Black’s defence of McKee, Steadman and Beighton under pressure, although the three tirelessly challenged for the ball throughout.
When the whistle blew for full time, Linden’s winning margin had increased to 19 goals, with the final score being 47-28. The Falcons Black players came off the court obviously disappointed, knowing that they had a number of things to work on in training.
Starting Lineup: Goal Shooter Charlotte Roye, Goal Attack Helen Hancock, Wing Attack Sofija Djokic, Centre Eleanor Durcan, Wing Defence Dominique McKee (c), Goal Defence Lauren Steadman, Goal Keeper Issy Beighton
Falcons Black, the East Midlands’ Premier Division 2 netball team, started the season with a home game against Norwich-based, Thoroughbreds. Last season, Thoroughbreds competed in Premier Division 1 so Falcons Black knew that it would be a tough game from the very first centre pass.
However, Falcons Black made a great start to the game, especially considering the fresh, young faces that were in the starting seven. Some slick play, accurate shooting and impressive interceptions contributed to the new players making a positive impact and allowing Falcons Black to take a three-point advantage going into quarter time.
No changes were made to either side for the second quarter but Thoroughbreds came out firing, including having some early crucial turnovers to edge into the lead. Further losses of possession and infringements by Falcons Black allowed Thoroughbreds to take full advantage. In particular, Thoroughbred’s 6’4” Goal Shooter made no mistakes and gradually helped pull her team’s score away from Falcons Black – the second quarter score line being 18-7 in Thoroughbred’s favour.
Falcons Black players were clearly down from their second quarter performance but they never gave up and after the half time break pushed to close the gap in the score line. Some accurate shooting from both Charlotte Roye and Christie Simpson enabled Falcons Black to stay in touching distance of Thoroughbreds.
The last quarter gave an opportunity for another youngster to take to the court as Jess Smith replaced Eleanor Durcan at centre. Unfortunately for Falcons Black, experience ultimately prevailed and the away team pulled away again to increase the score line, despite a valiant effort from the ladies on the court. The final whistle saw Thoroughbreds run out winners at 61-43.
Starting lineup: GS Charlotte Roye GA Christie Simpson WA Eleanor Durcan C Katie Flaherty WD Kaylea McQuade GD Issy Beighton GK Jade Forbes-Wattley
Subs: Helen Hancock, Jess Smith, Sofija Djukic