Leicestershire’s Falcons Black’s final home game of the season was against Worcester Reds (14/04/13).
The team had a new pairing at the back with Issy Beighton partnering Jodie Gibson – an exciting netballer who also plays for Loughborough Lightning. Worcester Reds took an early lead off Falcons Black’s centre pass when the away team’s Wing Defence (WD) and Goal Defence (GD) applied enough pressure to force Falcons Black into making an inaccurate pass. However, Falcons Black hit back and applied pressure of their own through the court – their attacking strategy being to look after the ball to goal with clean options. The strategy worked and Worcester Reds led by just a solitary goal at quarter time (11-10).
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Loughborough-based Falcons Black only had a squad of 6 for their away game against Kent (31/03/13).
Even so, Falcons Black made a promising start against the home team. Their tactics were to slow the ball up for any of Kent’s centre passes and delay it getting to the circle edge, which proved very effective and allowed the team to match Kent goal for goal for most of the first quarter. In fact, it was just 4 turnovers from Kent which saw them take a slight advantage going into the first break, with a 12 - 8 lead.
This year’s Regional U16 competition saw Charnwood Sapphires take to the court in a round robin tournament played on 10 and 24 March at the Sir David Wallace Sports Hall, Loughborough University. All matches were 4 quarters of 8 minutes played between the top 2 teams from each of the 5 East Midlands Counties.
Sapphires first opposition were Corby from Northants and they soon raced into a 15 – 6 half time lead. Corby fought back in the 3rd quarter to reduce the deficit to 5 goals. This spurred the Sapphires on and they ran out 27 – 16 winners.
With the playoffs inevitable, Lincoln 2 decided to change it up for their match against Notts Knights. Defender Lizzie Saywell was out through injury and a recent call up for Vic Adams meant Jade Houlton was joined by Megan Samways in defence. Lincoln began the first quarter well with goals from Vicky Bayes and Laura Forsey, but the Knights soon stormed ahead, taking a 13 goal advantage as the quarter ended 7-20.
Lincoln made changes in the second quarter with defender Jade moving to goal shooter. 16 year old Carla Baker came on at goal keeper and Megan moved to goal defence. However the Knights again proved to be too strong and took a 12-37 lead into half-time.
In the third quarter, attacker Vicky moved to goal defence alongside young Carla. Lincoln’s feeds into the attacking circle were stronger and became more frequent as Zoe Cooper moved to wing attack after a good half at centre. Her passes into Jade at shooter were perfectly timed as Lincoln’s best quarter finished 11-19. The score moving into the fourth quarter was 23-56.
For the final 15 minutes, Beth Sullivan moved to goal keeper where, despite her lack of height, she worked hard in defence and supported well when attacking. After a terrific Knights performance, Lincoln were fortunate to gain a point from the game, the final score finished 34-68 to Knights.
Woman of the match was awarded to Zoe Cooper for her good hussle at centre and a strong performance at wing attack. Her accurate and well-timed feeds into the shooting circle were particularly effective.
Charnwood Sapphires went into Sunday's East Midlands Netball Regional League Division 2 fixture against top of the table, Falcons Yellow, knowing that only a win would guarantee them a playoff spot.
Charnwood Sapphire got off to a nervous start, quickly going 3 goals behind but they soon settled down and turned the score around, taking a 13-10 lead into the first quarter break.
Sapphires continued to pile on the pressure in the second quarter and with accurate shooting from Lisa Griffiths (Goal Shooter, GS) and Sam Griffin (Goal Attack, GA) they increased their lead to 28-22.
With the majority of the squad available, Loughborough-based Falcons Black aimed to build on their previous performance in an attempt to move away from the relegation playoff places in their latest England Netball Prem 2 game (3 March 2013).
Sunday saw a somewhat depleted Falcons Black squad make their way to play Turnford in their latest England Netball Premier League 2 match.
Falcons Yellow secured their return to Regional League Division 1 after a resounding win over Grasshopper.
The starting line up was Nina Warren (Goal Shooter, GS), Weller Howard (Goal Attack, GA), Laura Owen (Wing Attack, WA), Melanie Brenan (Centre, C), Samantha Brown (Wing Defence, WD), Liz Stephenson (Goal Defence, GD), Beth Jackson (Goal Keeper, GK) with Rebecca Sims, Lynsey Cover and Sarah Bottomley on the bench.
Falcons Yellow got off to a flying start and maintained their lead throughout going into the half time break 34-14 ahead.
Changes at half time saw three straight swaps; with Cover coming on at Wing Defence (WD) to replace Brown, Sims coming on at Wing Attack (WA) for Owen and Bottomley coming on at Goal Shooter (GS) to replace Warren who moved out to Goal Attack (GA) replacing Howard. Grasshopper came out fighting in the third quarter but the sterling Falcons Yellow defence meant that it was not quite enough for Grasshopper to gain ground and close the gap.
The final quarter saw further changes for the Derbyshire-based team with Brown coming on to replace Stephenson at Goal Defence (GD), Owen replaced Brenan at Centre (C) and a swap round in the shooting circle saw Warren at Goal Shooter (GS) and Bottomley moved out to Goal Attack (GA).
Grasshoppers Netball Club took on Sleaford Barge in the East Midlands Netball Regional League Division 2 this weekend. Whilst Grasshoppers made a sluggish start to the match, Sleaford came sprinting out of the traps and with some slick passing and accurate shooting to take an 18-8 lead by the end of the first quarter. Sleaford’s solid, springy defence made things difficult for the Grasshopper’s attack.
Coach Anne Melling changed the team around after the first quarter, replacing Karmen Askew at Wing Attack (WA) with Claire Fielding and bringing on Tracy Glover at Goal Keeper (GK) – who was making her first appearance for Grasshoppers for several weeks. This improved things somewhat and Grasshoppers started to mount a fight back but Sleaford were still dominant and eventually won the second quarter by 15 goals to 9. The half time score was 17-33.
After the disappointment of losing the first two matches of 2013, Falcons Yellow were looking to stem the tide and get back to winning ways against Lincoln City 2.
With the frustration of losing the second match of the New Year to Nottingham Knights still fresh in their minds, Falcons Yellow came out all guns blazing and were determined to enforce a convincing win over Lincoln City 2.
The first quarter was a tight affair with Lincoln 2 taking the match to Falcons Yellow, testing their resolve. However the Derby-based team dug deep and came out on top at the end of the first quarter (16-10).
It was a first-time outing for the shooting duo of Nina Warren (Goal Shooter, GS) and Weller Howard and it proved to be a winning combination with both players taking their chances on goal, converting with accuracy. Falcons Yellow started to settle into their stride and began to stamp their authority on the game up and down the court, playing with the confidence and fluidity that had been lacking in the previous two matches.